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HANDBOUND 
AT  THE 


VOLUME  16 
MACAULAY-MICKIEWICZ 

UNIVERSITY  EDITION 

THE  WARNER  LIBRARY 

IN  THIRTY  VOLUMES 


VOLS.  1-26 
THE  WORLD'S  BEST  LITERATURE 

VOL.  27 

THE    BOOK   OF   SONGS   AND   LYRICS 

VOL.  28 
THE  READER'S  DICTIONARY  OF  AUTHORS 

VOL.  29 
THE  READER'S  DIGEST  OF  BOOKS 

VOL.  30 
THE  STUDENT'S  COURSE  IN  LITERATURE 

GENERAL   INDEX 


t« 


NEW  STEAD  ABBEY- 

The  ancestral  home  of  the  family  of  Lord  Byron. 
Original  Etching  from  an  Old  Engraving. 


PRU 


bioJ  lo 
gni'/£-r§nH  blO  nr,  mcnl  5; 


UNIVERSITY  EDITION 

THE  WARNER  LIBRARY 

IN  THIRTY  VOLUMES 
VOLUME  16 


THE 

WORLD'S  BEST 

LITERATURE 

EDITORS 

JOHN  W.  CUNLIFFE 
ASHLEY  H.  THORNDIKE 

PROFESSORS  OF  ENGLISH  IN  COLUMBIA  UNIVERSITY 

' 

FOUNDED  BY 

CHARLES  DUDLEY  WARNER 


NEW  YORK 

PRINTED  AT  THE  KNICKERBOCKER 

PRESS  FOR  THE  WARNER  LIBRARY  COMPANY 

TORONTO:  GLASGOW,  BROOK  &  COMPANY 

1917 


PM 


V  tl 


Copyright,  1896,  by  R.  S.  Peak  and  J.  A.  Hill 

Copyright,  1902,  by  J.  A.  Hitt 

Copyright,  1913,  by  Warner  Library  Company 

Copyright,  1917,  by  United  States  Publishers  Association,  Inc. 

All  Rights  Reserved 


.it 


ADVISORY  COUNCIL 


EDWIN  A.  ALDERMAN 

President  of  the  University  of  Virginia 

RICHARD  BURTON 

Professor  of  English  in  the  University  of  Minnesota 

MAURICE  FRANCIS  EGAN 

American  Ambassador  to  Denmark;  Formerly  Professor  of  Literature 
.    in  the  Catholic  University  of  America 

BRANDER  MATTHEWS 

Professor  of  Dramatic  Literature  in  Columbia  University 

WILLIAM  LYON  PHELPS 

Professor  of  English  in  Yale  University 

PAUL  SHOREY 

Professor  of  Greek  in  the  University  of  Chicago 

WILLIAM  M.  SLOANE 

Seth  Low  Professor  of  History  in  Columbia  University 

CRAWFORD  H.  TOY 

Professor  Emeritus  of  Hebrew  in  Harvard  University 

WILLIAM  P.  TRENT 

Professor  of  English  Literature  in  Columbia  University 

BENJAMIN  IDE  WHEELER 

President  of  the  University  of  California 

GEORGE  M.  WRONG 

Professor  of  History  in  the  University  of  Toronto 


vu 


CONTENTS 


THOMAS   BABIXGTON   MACAULAY,    1800-1859  PAGE 

CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  John  Bach  McMaster          .         .         .                   .  '  9381 

The  (Coffee-House               9386 

The  Difficulty  of  Travel  in  England,  1685 9388 

The  Highwayman     ..........  9395 

The  Delusion  of  Overrating  the  Happiness  of  our  Ancestors            .          .  9397 

The  Puritan 9399 

Spain  under  Philip  II.        .........  9402 

The  Character  of  Charles  II.  of  England 9406 

The  Church  of  Rome 9408 

Loyola  and  the  Jesuits      .........  9411 

The  Reign  of  Terror 9415 

The  Trial  of  Warren  Hastings   ........  9419 

Horatius 9422 

The  Battle  of  Ivry 9437 

JUSTIN  MCCARTHY,  1830-1912 

CRITICAL  ESSAY         .....                          9440 

The  King  Is  Dead — Long  Live  the  Queen 9441 

A  Modern  English  Statesman 9450 

GEORGE   MACDOXALD,    1824-1905 

CRITICAL  ESSAY                      9455 

The  Flood 9456 

The  Hay-Loft 9464 

JEAN    MACE,    1815-1894 

CRITICAL  ESSAY                      9473 

The  Necklace  of  Truth 9474 


NICCOLO   MACHIAVELLI,    1469-1527 

CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  Charles  P.  Nefll        .          .          .          .          .         .         .  9479 

The  Conspiracy  against  Carlo  Galeazzo,  Duke  of  Milan  .  .  .  94^8 

How  a  Prince  Ought  to  Avoid  Flatterers 9492 

Exhortation  to  Lorenzo  de'  Medici  .......  9493 


Vlll  CONTENTS 


PERCY  MACKAYE,    1875-  PAGE 

CRITICAL  ESSAY         .             .             .             .  .             .                          .             .            .  9494  a 

From '  The  Canterbury  Pilgrims '  .          .          .          .          .          .  9494  b 

The  Scarecrow,  Act.  iv                                   9494  g 


NORMAN   MACLEOD,    1812-1872 

CRITICAL   ESSAY         ...........  9495 

The  Home-Coming  ..........  9497 

Highland  Scenery     ..........  9500 

My  Little  May         ..........  9501 

JOHN   BACH   McMASTER,    1852- 

CRITICAL   ESSAY         ...........  9503 

Town  and  Country  Life  in  1800          .......  9504 

Effects  of  the  Embargo  of  1807  .          .          .          .          .          .          .9513 


ANDREW   MACPHAIL,    1864- 

CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  Archibald  MacMechan         .          .          .          .          .  9514  a 

Psychology  of  the  Suffragette     .          .          .         .         .         .         .  9514  c 

EMERICH   MADACH,    1823-1864 

CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  George  Alexander  Kohut     .          .          .          .          .          .9515 

From  the  '  Tragedy  of  Man '      ........     9517 

JAMES   MADISON,    1751-1836 

CRITICAL   ESSAY 9531 

From  '  The  Federalist '.........     9534 

Interference  to  Quell  Domestic  Insurrection         .....     9539 

MAURICE   MAETERLINCK,    1864- 

CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  William  Sharp    ........     9541 

EDITORIAL    NOTE        ..........  9546  a 

From '  The  Death  of  Tintagiles '         .          .          .    '      .          .          .          .     9547 

The  Inner  Beauty     ..........     9552 

From  '  The  Tragical  in  Daily  Life' 9562 

DR.   WILLIAM   MAGINN,    1793-1842 

CRITICAL  ESSAY 9564 

Saint  Patrick   .          .          .          .          . 9565 

Song  of  the  Sea 9567 


CONTENTS  ix 

JOHN    PENTLAND    MAHAFFY,    1839-  PAGE 

CRITICAL    ESSAY          .             .             .             .             .             .             i             .             *                           .  9569 

Childhood  in  Ancient  Life           .....                  .  9571 

. 

ALFRED   THAYER   MAHAN,    1840-1914 

CRITICAL    ESSAY          .              .              .             .              .              .             .             .             .      '       .             .  9580 

The  Importance  of  Cruisers  and  of  Strong  Fleets  in  War       .          .          .  9581 

MOSES   MAIMONIDES,    1135-1204 

CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  Rabbi  Gottheil  ........  9589 

Extract  from  Maimonides's  Will          .          ...          .          .          .          .  9594 

From  the '  Guide  of  the  Perplexed '     .          .          .          .                    .          .  9595 

SIR  HENRY   MAINE,    1822-1888 

CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  D.  MacG.  Means        .......  9605 

The  Beginnings  of  the  Modern  Laws  of  Real  Property ....  9607 

Importance  of  a  Knowledge  of  Roman  Law:  and  the  Effect  of  the  Code 

Napoleon      .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .  9610 


XAVIER   DE   MAISTRE,    1764-1852 


The  Traveling-Coat            
A  Friend           

9*"-l 

.        96l8 
Q62O 

The  Library     

.        9621 

WILLIAM   HURRELL  MALLOCK,    1849- 

CRITICAL  ESSAY         ......... 

•        9623 

An  Evening's  Table-Talk  at  the  Villa          . 

.        9626 

SIR  THOMAS  MALORY,   FIFTEENTH  CENTURY 

CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  Ernest  Rhys       .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .  9645 

The  Finding  of  the  Sword  Excalibur  ......  9648 

The  White  Hart  at  the  Wedding  of  King  Arthur  and  Queen  Guenever  .  9650 

The  Maid  of  Astolat .  9651 

The  Death  of  Sir  Launcelot        .  9653 


SIR  JOHN   MANDEVILLE,   FOURTEENTH  CENTURY 

CRITICAL  ESSAY         ...........  9655 

The  Marvelous  Riches  of  Prester  John 9658 

From  Hebron  to  Bethlehem        ....  ...  9660 


X  CONTENTS 

JAMES  CLARENCE   MANGAN,    1803-1849  PAGE 

CRITICAL   ESSAY         ...........  9664 

The  Dawning  of  the  Day            ........  9665 

The  Nameless  One 9666 

St.  Patrick's  Hymn  before  Tarah        .......  9668 

ALESSANDRO   MANZONI,   1785-1873 

CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  Maurice  Francis  Egan         ......  9671 

An  Unwilling  Priest            .........  9674 

A  Late  Repentance  ..........  9686 

An  Episode  of  the  Plague  in  Milan     .......  9693 

Chorus  from  '  The  Count  of  Carmagnola  '             .....  9695 

The  Fifth  of  May 9698 

MARGUERITE  D'ANGOULEME  (MARGARET  OF  NAVARRE),  1492- 
1549 

CRITICAL   ESSAY         ...........  9702 

A  Fragment     ...........  9706 

Dixains   ............  9707 

From  the '  Heptameron '  .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .  9708 

CHRISTOPHER   MARLOWE,    1564-1593 

CRITICAL   ESSAY         .             .             .             .             .             .             .             .             .             .             .  9714 

The  Passionate  Shepherd  to  his  Love           .          .          .          .          .  97 17 

From  '  Tamburlaine  '         .........  9718 

Invocation  to  Helen .                             .......  9722 

From  '  Edward  the  Second '                 .         .          .          .         .          .  9725 

From  '  The  Jew  of  Malta ' 9727 

CLEMENT   MAROT,   1497-1544 

CRITICAL   ESSAY         .                          .........  9729 

Old-Time  Love                   .........  9732 

Epigram 9732 

To  a  Lady  who  Wished  to  Behold  Marot    ......  9732 

The  Laugh  of  Madame  D'Albret        .......  9733 

From  an  Elegy 9733 

The  Duchess  D'Alengon    .........  9734 

To  the  Queen  of  Navarre            ........  9734 

From  a  Letter  to  the  King;  after  being  Robbed  .          .          .          .          -9735 

From  a  Rhymed  Letter  to  the  King   .          .          .         .         .         .         .  9736 

FREDERICK   MARRYAT,    1792-1848 

CRITICAL   ESSAY         ...........  9737 

Perils  of  the  Sea        ..........  9740 

Mrs.  Easy  Has  her  own  Way     ........  9747 


CONTENTS  XI 

MARTIAL  (MARCUS  VALERIUS  MARTIALIS)   ?5O-?iO2  PAGE 

CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  Caskie  Harrison          .......  9750 

The  Unkindest  Cut 9753 

Evolution         ...........  9754 

Vale  of  Tears  ...........  9754 

Sic  Vos  Non  Vobis   ..........  9754 

Silence  is  Golden       ..........  9754 

So  Near  and  Yet  So  Far '        .          .          .  9754 

The  Least  of  Evils    ..........  9755 

Thou  Reason'st  Well 9755 

Never  Is,  but  Always  to  Be       .         .          .         .         .          .          .          .  9755 

Learning  by  Doing 9755 

Tertium  Quid            .         .         . 9755 

Similia  Similibus       ..........  9756 

Cannibalism     .          .          .          .                    .          .          .          .          .          .  9756 

Equals  Added  to  Equals    .........  9756 

The  Cook  Well  Done 9756 

A  Diverting  Scrape  .          .          .          .  •        .          .          .          .          .          .  9756 

Diamond  Cut  Diamond     .........  9757 

The  Cobbler's  Last 9757 

But  Little  Here  Below      .........  9757 

E  Pluribus  Unus 9757 

Fine  Frenzy     ...........  9757 

Live  without  Dining          .........  9758 

The  Two  Things  Needful 9758 

JAMES   MARTINEAU,    1805-1900 

CRITICAL   ESSAY          ...........  9759 

The  Transient  and  the  Real  in  Life     .          .          .                    .          .          .  9762 

ANDREW   MARVELL,    1621-1678 

CRITICAL   ESSAY         .             .             .             .             .             .             .             .             .             .             .  977O 

The  Garden 9771 

The  Emigrants  in  Bermudas      ........  9773 

The  Mower  to  the  Glow- Worms 9774 

The  Mower's  Song 9774 

The  Picture  of  T.  C 9775 

• 

KARL   MARX,    1809-1883 

CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  William  English  Walling 9776  a 

Bourgeois  and  Proletarians         .......  9776  i 


JOHN    MASEFIELD,    1874- 

CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  Joyce  Kilmer     .          .          .          .         .         .          .          .     9777 

From  '  The  Everlasting  Mercy '  ......  9777  e 


Xll  CONTENTS 

John  Masefield Continued  PAGE 

The  Yarn  of  the  '  Loch  Achray  '......  9777  j 

Sea-Fever         ..........  9777 1 

D'Avalos'  Prayer      .........  9777  1 

Sonnets            ..........  9777  m 

MASQUES 

CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  Ernest  Rhys       .....  .  9777  p 

JEAN  BAPTISTE  MASSILLON,  1663-1742 

CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  J.  F.  Bingham    ....  .  .  9780 

Picture  of  the  Death-Bed  of  a  Sinner  ......  9784 

Fasting 9785 

Hypocritical  Humility  in  Charity        .......  9787 

The  Blessedness  of  the  Righteous        .          .          .          .          .          .          .  9789 

One  of  His  Celebrated  Pictures  of  General  Society        ....  9791 

Prayer     ............  9792 

PHILIP   MASSINGER,    1583-1640 

CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  Anna  McClure  Sholl  ......     9797 

From  '  The  Maid  of  Honour  '........     9799 

From  '  A  New  Way  to  Pay  Old  Debts  ' 9801 

BRANDER   MATTHEWS,    1852- 

CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  Ernest  Hunter  Wright         .....  9802  a 

American  Character  .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .  9802  d 

Shakspere's  Actors   .  ........  9802  s 

GUY  DE   MAUPASSANT,    1850-1893 

CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  Firmin  Roz         ......  9803  d 

The  Last  Years  of  Madame  Jeanne    .......     9809 

A  Normandy  Outing:  Jean  Roland's  Love-Making        .          .          .          .9815 

The  Piece  of  String 9821 

FREDERICK   DENISON   MAURICE,    1805-1872 

CRITICAL   ESSAY         ...........       9828 

From  a  Letter  to  Rev.  J.  de  La  Touche       .          .          .          .          .          .     9830 

From  a  Letter  to  Rev.  Charles  Kingsley      ......     9832 

The  Subjects  and  Laws  of  the  Kingdom  of  Heaven       ....     9832 

JOSEPH  MAZZINI,    1805-1872 

CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  Frank  Sewall      ........  9843 

Faith  and  the  Future        .........  9845 

Thoughts  Addressed  to  the  Poets  of  the  Nineteenth  Century  .  .  9848 

On  Carlyle .  .  .  9849 


CONTENTS  Xlll 

JOHANN   WILHELM   MEINHOLD,    1797-1851  PAGE 

CRITICAL    ESSAY .  9853 

The  Rescue  on  the  Road  to  the  Stake 9855 


HERMAN   MELVILLE,    1819-1891 

CRITICAL   ESSAY .  9867 

A  Typee  Household ...  9870 

Fayaway  in  the  Canoe      ....  .  9877 

The  General  Character  of  the  Typees          .  .          .  9879 

Taboo                        ....  9881 


:)FELIX   MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY,    1809-1847 

CRITICAL   ESSAY          .....                                                                                   .  9886 

From  a  Letter  to  F.  Killer          ........  9888 

From  a  Letter  to  Herr  Advocat  Conrad  Schleinitz         ....  9888 

Hours  with  Goethe,  1830  ......                   .  9889 

A  Coronation  in  Presburg  .          .....                              .  9891 

First  Impressions  of  Venice        ........  9892 

In  Rome:  St.  Peter's          ....                                                 .  9894 

A  Sunday  at  Foria             .........  9895 

A  Vaudois  Walking  Trip:  Pauline       .......  9896 

A  Criticism  .......... 


'.CATULLE   MENDES,    1843-1909 

CRITICAL  ESSAY         ......                                                                  .  99OO 

The  Foolish  Wish     ..........  9901 

The  Sleeping  Beauty          .....                                        .  9904 

The  Charity  of  Sympathy           ........  9908 

The  Mirror       ............  9908 

The  Man  of  Letters            .........  9912 


MARCELINO   MENENDEZ  Y   PELAYO,  1856-1912 

CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  Federico  de  Onis          ...  9914  a 

Calderon  ..........  9914  d 

GEORGE   MEREDITH,    1828-1909 

CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  Anna  McClure  Sholl  .         .          .         .          .  99*5 

CRITICAL  ESSAY  on  MEREDITH'S  POETRY  by  Gertrude  E.  T.  Slaughter    .          .     9920 
Richard  and  Lucy:  An  Idyl        ........     9921 

Richard's  Ordeal  Is  Over  ........     9930 

Aminta  Takes  a  Morning  Sea-Swim:  A  Marine  Duet  .          .          .     9934 

Love  in  the  Valley    .........  9939  a 

The  Lark  Ascending  ........  9939  c 


XIV  CONTENTS 

Meredith's  Poetry — Continued  PAGE 

From  '  The  Woods  of  Westermain '     .          .          .          .          .          .  9939  f 

From  '  France,  1870'          ........  9939  g 

From  '  Modern  Love  ' : 

IV      . 9940 

XVI 9940 

XLIII 9940  a 

XLVII 9940  a 

L  ..........  9940 b 

PROSPER  MERIMEE',  1803-1870 

CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  Grace  King         ........     9941 

From  '  Arsene  Guillot '.........     9946 

THE  MEXICAN   NUN   QUANA  YNEZ  DE  LA  CRUZ),  1651-1695 
CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  John  Malone      ........     9956 

On  the  Contrarieties  of  Love      .          .          .          .          .          .          .          -9959 

Learning  and  Riches          .........     9959 

Death  in  Youth        ..........     9960 

The  Divine  Narcissus        .........     9960 

KONRAD   FERDINAND   MEYER,    1825-1898 

CRITICAL   ESSAY 9965 

From  the  '  Monk's  Wedding '........     9966 

7 
MICHEL  ANGELO,    1475-1564 

CRITICAL   ESSAY         . 9977 

A  Prayer  for  Strength        .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .9979 

The  Impeachment  of  Night        ........     9980 

Love,  the  Life-Giver          .........     9980 

Irreparable  Loss        ..........     9981 

JULES   MICHELET,    1798-1874 

CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  Grace  King         .          .          .          .          .  .  9982 

The  Death  of  Jeanne  D'Arc       ........  9985 

Michel  Angelo.          ..........  9990 

Summary  of  the  Introduction  to  '  The  Renaissance  '    .          .          .          .  9993 

ADAM   MICKIEWICZ,    1798-1855 

CRITICAL  ESSAY,  by  Charles  Harvey  Genung       .          .          .          . ' '       • .          .  9995 

Sonnet    ............  9999 

Father's  Return        ..........  10000 

Primrose           ........          ...  10002 

New  Year's  Wishes  .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .  10004 

To  M 10005 

From  '  The  Ancestors  '.......,.  10006 

From  '  Fans  '                                                                                                    .  10006 


XV 


ILLUSTRATIONS 

NFEWSTEAD  ABBEY 

Photogravure        . 

I 

THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY 

Portrait  from  wood 

PURITANS   GOING   TO   CHURCH 

Photogravure        .  

NICCOLO   MACHIAVELLI 

Portrait  from  wood 

MONGOLIAN   BUDDHISTIC   WRITING 

Facsimile  manuscript     .         »         .         .         .         . 

,|JAMES   MADISON 

Portrait  from  wood 

SLAVONIC  WRITING  OF  Xlra  CENTURY 

Half  tone 


Frontispiece 

Facing  page  9381 

".     "  9398 

«      "  9479 

"      "  9501 

"      "  9531 

"      "  '  9753 


THOMAS   BABINGTON    MACAULAY 


THOMAS   BABINGTON   MACAULAY 

(1800-1859) 

BY  JOHN   BACH   MCMASTER 

IHOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY,  the  most  widely  read  of  English 
essayists  and  historians,  was  born  near  London  on  the  25th 
of  October,  1800.  His  early  education  was  received  at 
private  schools;  but  in  1818  he  went  into  residence  at  Trinity  College, 
Cambridge,  graduated  with  honor,  and  was  elected  a  fellow  in  1824. 
Out  of  deference  to  the  wishes  of  his  father  he  thought  for  a  while 
of  becoming  an  attorney,  read  law,  and  was  called  to  the  bar  in  1826. 
But  the  labors  of  the  profession  were  little  to  his  liking;  no  business 
of  consequence  came  to  him,  and  he  was  soon  deep  in  literature  and 
politics,  for  the  pursuit  of  which  his  tastes,  his  habits,  and  his  parts 
pre-eminently  fitted  him. 

His  nephew  and  biographer  has  gathered  a  mass  of  anecdotes  and 
reminiscences,  which  go  far  to  show  that  while  still  a  lad  Macaulay 
displayed  in  a  high  degree  many  of  the  mental  characteristics  which 
later  in  life  made  him  famous.  The  eagerness  with  which  he  de- 
voured books  of  every  sort;  the  marvelous  memory  which  enabled 
him  to  recall  for  years  whole  pages  and  poems,  read  but  once;  the 
quickness  of  perception  by  the  aid  of  which  he  could  at  a  glance 
extract  the  contents  of  a  printed  page;  his  love  of  novels  and  poetry; 
his  volubility,  his  positiveness  of  assertion,  and  the  astonishing  amount 
of  information  he  could  pour  out  on  matters  of  even  trivial  import- 
ance,—  were  as  characteristic  of  the  boy  as  of  the  man. 

As  might  have  been  expected  from  one  so  gifted,  Macaulay  began 
to  write  while  a  mere  child;  but  his  first  printed  piece  was  an  anony- 
mous letter  defending  novel-reading  and  lauding  Fielding  and  Smol- 
lett. It  was  written  at  the  age  of  sixteen;  was  addressed  to  his  father, 
then  editor  of  the  Christian  Observer,  was  inserted  in  utter  ignorance 
of  the  author,  and  brought  down  on  the  periodical  the  wrath  of  a 
host  of  subscribers.  One  declared  that  he  had  given  the  obnoxious 
number  to  the  flames,  and  should  never  again  read  the  magazine. 
At  twenty-three  Macaulay  began  to  write  for  Knight's  Quarterly  Maga- 
zine, and  contributed  to  it  articles  some  of  which  —  as  <The  Conver- 
sation between  Mr.  Abraham  Cowley  and  Mr.  John  Milton  touching 
the  Great  Civil  War>;  his  criticism  of  Dante  and  Petrarch;  that  on 
Athenian  Orators ;  and  the  (  Fragments  of  a  Roman  Tale  *  —  are  still 


9382 


THOMAS  BABINGTON   MACAULAY 


given  a  place,  in  his  collected  writings.  In  themselves  these  pieces 
are  of  small  value;  but  they  served  to  draw  attention  to  the  author 
just  at  the  time  when  Jeffrey,  the  editor  of  the  great  Whig  Edin- 
burgh Review,  was  eagerly  and  anxiously  searching  for  <(  some  clever 
young  man  **  to  write  for  it.  Macaulay  was  such  a  clever  young  man. 
Overtures  were  therefore  made  to  him;  and  in  1825,  in  the  August 
number  of  the  Review,  appeared  his  essay  on  John  Milton.  The 
effect  was  immediate.  Like  Byron,  he  awoke  one  morning  to  find 
himself  famous;  was  praised  and  complimented  on  every  hand,  and 
day  after  day  saw  his  table  covered  with  cards  of  invitation  to  dinner 
from  every  part  of  London.  And  well  he  might  be  praised;  for  no 
English  magazine  had  ever  before  published  so  readable,  so  eloquent, 
so  entertaining  an  essay.  Its  very  faults  are  pleasing.  Its  merits 
are  of  a  high  order;  but  the  passage  which  will  best  bear  selection 
as  a  specimen  of  the  writing  of  Macaulay  at  twenty-five  is  the  de- 
scription of  the  Puritan. 

Macaulay  had  now  found  his  true  vocation,  and  entered  on  it 
eagerly  and  with  delight.  In  March  1827  came  the  essay  on  Machia- 
velli;  and  during  1828  those  on  John  Dryden,  on  History,  and  on  Hal- 
lam's  'Constitutional  History.*  During  1829  he  wrote  and  published 
reviews  of  James  Mill's  ( Essay  on  Government*  (which  involved  him 
in  an  unseemly  wrangle  with  the  Westminster  Review,  and  called 
forth  two  more  essays  on  the  Utilitarian  Theory  of  Government), 
Southey's  Colloquies  on  Society,*  Sadler's  <  Law  of  Population,*  and 
the  reviews  of  Robert  Montgomery's  Poems.  The  reviews  of  Moore's 
*  Life  of  Byron  *  and  of  Southey's  edition  of  the  ( Pilgrim's  Progress  * 
appeared  during  1830.  In  that  same  year  Macaulay  entered  Parlia- 
ment, and  for  a  time  the  essays  came  forth  less  frequently.  A  reply 
to  a  pamphlet  by  Mr.  Sadler  written  in  reply  to  Macaulay 's  review, 
the  famous  article  in  which  Croker's  edition  of  Boswell's  Johnson 
was  pilloried,  and  the  essay  on  John  Hampden,  were  all  he  wrote  in 
1831.  In  1832  came  Burleigh  and  his  Times,  and  Mirabeau;  in  1833 
The  War  of  the  Succession  in  Spain,  and  Horace  Walpole;  in  1834 
William  Pitt,  Earl  of  Chatham;  in  1835  Sir  James  Mackintosh;  in  1837 
Lord  Bacon,  the  finest  yet  produced;  in  1838  Sir  William  Temple;  in 
1839  Gladstone  on  Church  and  State;  and  in  1840  the  greatest  of  all 
his  essays,  those  on  Von  Ranke's  (  History  of  the  Popes*  and  on  Lord 
Clive.  The  Comic  Dramatists  of  the  Restoration,  Warren  Hastings, 
and  a  short  sketch  of  Lord  Holland,  were  written  in  1841 ;  Frederic 
the  Great  in  1842;  Madame  D'Arblay  and  Addison  in  1843;  Barere 
and  The  Earl  of  Chatham  in  1844:  and  with  these  the  long  list 
closes. 

Never  before  in  any  period  of  twenty  years  had  the  British  read- 
ing public  been  instructed  and  amused  by  so  splendid  a  series  of 


THOMAS  BABINGTO.F  MACAULAY  9383 

essays.  Taken  as  a  whole  the  series  falls  naturally  into  three  classes: 
the  critical,  the  biographical,  and  the  historical.  Each  has  merits  and 
peculiarities  of  its  own;  but  all  have  certain  characteristics  in  com- 
mon which  enable  us  to  treat  them  in  a  group. 

Whoever  will  take  the  pains  to  read  the  six-and-thirty  essays  we 
have  mentioned,  —  and  he  will  be  richly  repaid  for  his  pains, — can- 
not fail  to  perceive  that  sympathy  with  the  past  is  Macaulay's  ruling 
passion.  Concerning  the  present  he  knew  little  and  cared  less.  The 
range  of  topics  covered  by  him  was  enormous;  art,  science,  theology, 
history,  literature,  poetry,  the  drama,  philosophy  —  all  were  passed 
in  review.  Yet  he  has  never  once  failed  to  treat  his  subject  histori- 
cally. We  look  in  vain  for  the  faintest  approach  to  a  philosophical 
or  analytical  treatment.  He  reviewed  Mill's  essay  on  Government, 
and  Hallam's  ( Constitutional  History > ;  but  he  made  no  observations 
on  government  in  the  abstract,  nor  expressed  any  opinions  as  to 
what  sort  of  government  is  best  suited  for  civilized  communities  in 
general.  He  wrote  about  Bacon;  yet  he  never  attempted  to  expound 
the  principles  or  describe  the  influence  of  the  Baconian  philosophy. 
He  wrote  about  Addison  and  Johnson,  Hastings  and  Clive,  Machia- 
velli  and  Horace  Walpole  and  Madame  D'Arblay;  yet  in  no  case  did 
he  analyze  the  works;  or  fully  examine  the  characteristics,  or  set  forth 
exhaustively  the  ideas,  of  one  of  them.  They  are  to  him  mere  pegs 
on  which  to  hang  a  splendid  historical  picture  of  the  times  in  which 
these  people  lived.  Thus  the  essay  on  Milton  is  a  review  of  the 
Cromwellian  period;  Machiavelli,  of  Italian  morals  in  the  sixteenth 
century;  that  on  Dryden,  of  the  state  of  poetry  and  the  drama  in  the 
days  of  Charles  the  Second;  that  on.  Johnson,  of  the  state  of  English 
literature  in  the  days  of  Walpole.  In  the  essays  on  Clive  and  Hast- 
ings, we  find  little  of  the  founders  of  British  India  beyond  the  enu- 
meration of  their  acts.  But  the  Mogul  empire,  and  the  rivalries  and 
struggles  which  overthrew  it,  are  all  depicted  in  gorgeous  detail.  No 
other  writer  has  ever  given  so  fine  an  account  of  the  foreign  policy 
of  Charles  the  Second  as  Macaulay  has  done  in  the  essay  on  Sir  Will- 
iam Temple ;  nor  of  the  Parliamentary  history  of  England  for  the  forty 
years  preceding  our  Revolution,  as  is  to  be  found  in  the  essays  on 
Lord  Chatham.  In  each  case  the  image  of  the  man  whose  name 
stands  at  the  head  of  the  essay  is  blurred  and  indistinct.  We  are 
told  of  the  trial  of  John  Hampden;  but  we  do  not  see  the  fearless 
.champion  of  popular  liberty  as  he  stood  before  the  judges  of  King 
Charles.  We  are  introduced  to  Frederic  the  Great,  and  are  given  a 
summary  of  his  characteristics  and  a  glowing  narrative  of  the  wars 
in  which  he  won  fame;  but  the  real  Frederic,  the  man  contending 
« against  the  greatest  superiority  of  power  and  the  utmost  spite  of 
fortune, »  is  lost  in  the  mass  of  accessories.  He  describes  the  out- 
ward man  admirably:  the  inner  man  is  never  touched. 


THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY 

But  however  faulty  the  Essays  may  be  in  respect  to  the  treatment 
accorded  to  individual  men,  they  display  a  prodigious  knowledge  of 
the  facts  and  events  of  the  periods  they  cover.  His  wonderful  mem- 
ory, stored  with  information  gathered  from  a  thousand  sources,  his 
astonishing  power  of  arranging  facts  and  bringing  them  to  bear  on 
any  subject,  whether  it  called  for  description  or  illustration,  joined 
with  a  clear  and  vigorous  style,  enabled  him  to  produce  historical 
scenes  with  a  grouping,  a  finish,  and  a  splendor  to  which  no  other 
writer  can  approach.  His  picture  of  the  Puritan  in  the  essay  on 
Milton,  and  of  Loyola  and  the  Jesuits  in  the  essay  on  the  Popes;  his 
description  of  the  trial  of  Warren  Hastings;  of  the  power  and  mag- 
nificence of  Spain  under  Philip  the  Second;  of  the  destiny  of  the 
Church  of  Rome;  of  the  character  of  Charles  the  Second  in  the  essay 
on  Sir  James  Mackintosh, — are  but  a  few  of  many  of  his  bits  of  word- 
painting  which  cannot  be  surpassed.  What  is  thus  true  of  particular 
scenes  and  incidents  in  the  Essays  is  equally  true  of  many  of  them 
in  the  whole.  Long  periods  of  time,  great  political  movements,  com- 
plicated policies,  fluctuations  of  ministries,  are  sketched  with  an  accu- 
racy, animation,  and  clearness  not  to  be  met  with  in  any  elaborate 
treatise  covering  the  same  period. 

While  Macaulay  was  writing  two  and  three  essays  a  year,  he  won 
renown  in  a  new  field  by  the  publication  of  (The  Lays  of  Ancient 
Rome.*  They  consist  of  four  ballads  —  <Horatius);  (The  Battle  of 
the  Lake  Regillus*;  <  Virginius';  and  <  The  Prophecy  of  Capys* — which 
are  supposed  to  have  been  sung  by  Roman  minstrels,  and  to  belong 
to  a  very  early  period  in  the  history  of  the  city.  In  them  are  re- 
peated all  the  merits  and  all  the  defects  of  the  Essays.  The  men 
and  women  are  mere  enumerations  of  qualities;  the  battle  pieces  are 
masses  of  uncombined  incidents:  but  the  characteristics  of  the  periods 
treated  have  been  caught  and  reproduced  with  perfect  accuracy.  The 
setting  of  Horatius,  which  belongs  to  the  earliest  days  of  Rome, 
is  totally  different  from  the  setting  of  the  Prophecy  of  Capys,  which 
belongs  to  the  time  when  Rome  was  fast  acquiring  the  mastery  over 
Italy ;  and  in  each  case  the  setting  is  studiously  and  remarkably  exact. 
In  these  poems,  again,  there  is  the  same  prodigious  learning,  the  same 
richness  of  illustration,  which  distinguish  the  essays;  and  they  are 
adorned  with  a  profusion  of  metaphor  and  aptness  of  epithets  which 
is  most  admirable. 

The  'Lays*  appeared  in  1842,  and  at  once  found  their  way  into 
popular  favor.  Macaulay's  biographer  assures  us  that  in  ten  years 
18,000  copies  were  sold  in  Great  Britain;  40,000  copies  in  twenty 
years;  and  before  1875  nearly  100,000  had  passed  into  the  hands  of 
readers. 

Meantime  the  same  popularity  attended  the  ( Essays. y  Again  and 
again  Macaulay  had  been  urged  to  collect  and  publish  them  in  book 


THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY  9385 

form,  and  had  stoutly  refused.  But  when  an  enterprising  publisher 
in  Philadelphia  not  only  reprinted  them  but  shipped  copies  to  Eng- 
land, Macaulay  gave  way;  and  in  the  early  months  of  1843  a  volume 
was  issued.  Like  the  Lays,  the  Essays  rose  at  once  into  popular 
favor,  and  in  the  course  of  thirty  years  120,000  copies  were  sold  in 
the  United  Kingdom  by  one  publisher. 

But  the  work  on  which  he  was  now  intent  was  the  ( History  of 
England  from  the  accession  of  King  James  the  Second  down  to  a 
time  which  is  within  the  memory  of  men  still  living.*  The  idea  of 
such  a  narrative  had  long  been  in  his  mind;  but  it  was  not  till  1841 
that  he  began  seriously  to  write,  and  not  till  1848  that  he  published 
the  first  and  second  volumes.  Again  his  success  was  instant.  Nothing 
like  it  had  been  known  since  the  days  of  Waverley.  Of  <Marmion) 
2,000  were  sold  in  the  first  month;  of  Macaulay's  History  3,000 
copies  were  sold  in  ten  days.  Of  the  < Lay  of  the  Last  Minstrel  > 
2,250  copies  were  disposed  of  in  course  of  the  first  year;  but  the 
publishers  sold  13,000  copies  of  Macaulay  in  four  months.  In  the 
United  States  the  success  was  greater  yet. 

«We  beg  you  to  accept  herewith  a  copy  of  our  cheap  edition  of  your 
work,»  wrote  Harper  &  Brothers  in  1849.  (<  There  have  been  three  other 
editions  published  by  different  houses,  and  another  is  now  in  preparation;  so 
there  will  be  six  different  editions  in  the  market.  We  have  already  sold 
40,000  copies,  and  we  presume  that  over  60,000  copies  have  been  disposed  of. 
Probably  within  three  months  of  this  time  the  sale  will  amount  to  200,000 
copies.  No  work  of  any  kind  has  ever  so  completely  taken  our  whole  coun- 
try by  storm. w 

Astonishing  as  was  the  success,  it  never  flagged;  and  year  after 
year  the  London  publisher  disposed  of  the  work  at  the  rate  of 
seventy  sets  a  week.  In  November  1855  the  third  and  fourth  vol- 
umes were  issued.  Confident  of  an  immense  sale,  25,000  copies  were 
printed  as  a  first  edition,  and  were  taken  by  the  trade  before  a  copy 
was  bound.  In  the  United  States  the  sale,  he  was  assured  by  Everett, 
was  greater  than  that  of  any  book  ever  printed,  save  the  Bible  and 
a  few  school-books  in  universal  use.  Prior  to  1875,  his  biographer 
states,  140,000  copies  of  the  History  were  sold  in  the  United  King- 
dom. In  ten  weeks  from  the  day  of  the  issue  26,500  copies  were 
taken,  and  in  March  1856  $100,000  was  paid  him  as  a  part  of  the 
royalty  due  in  December. 

Honors  of  every  sort  were  now  showered  on  him.  He  was  raised 
to  the  peerage;  he  was  rich,  famous,  and  great.  But  the  enjoyment 
of  his  honors  was  short-lived;  for  in  December  1859  he  was  found  in 
his  library,  seated  in  his  easy-chair,  dead.  Before  him  on  the  table 
lay  a  copy  of  the  Cornhill  Magazine,  open  at  the  first  page  of 
Thackeray's  story  of  <  Lovel  the  Widower.  > 


9386 


THOMAS   BABINGTON   MACAULAY 


All  that  has  been  said  regarding  the  Essays  and  the  Lays  applies 
with  equal  force  to  the  (  History  of  England.  >  No  historian  who  has 
yet  written  has  shown  such  familiarity  with  the  facts  of  English 
history,  no  matter  what  the  subject  in  hand  may  be  :  the  extinction 
of  villeinage,  the  Bloody  Assizes,  the  appearance  of  the  newspaper, 
the  origin  of  the  national  debt,  or  the  state  of  England  in  1685. 
Macaulay  is  absolutely  unrivaled  in  the  art  of  arranging  and  com- 
bining his  facts,  and  of  presenting  in  a  clear  and  vigorous  narrative 
the  spirit  of  the  epoch  he  treats.  Nor  should  we  fail  to  mention  that 
both  Essays  and  History  abound  in  remarks,  general  observations,  and 
comment  always  clear,  vigorous,  and  shrewd,  and  in  the  main  very 
just. 


£7 


THE  COFFEE-HOUSE 

From  the  <  History  of  England  > 

coffee-house  must  not  be  dismissed  with  a  cursory  men- 
tion.     It    might    indeed    at    that    time    have    been    not    im- 
properly called  a   most   important   political   institution.     No 
Parliament  had  sat  for  years.     The  municipal  council  of  the  City 
had  ceased  to  speak  the  sense  of  the  citizens.     Public  meetings, 
harangues,  resolutions,  and  the  rest  of  the  modern  machinery  of 
agitation  had   not   yet   come    into   fashion.      Nothing   resembling 
the  modern  newspaper  existed.     In  such  circumstances  the  coffee- 
houses were  the  chief  organs  through  which  the  public  opinion 
of  the  metropolis  vented  itself. 

The  first  of  these  establishments  had  been  set  up  by  a  Tur- 
key merchant,  who  had  acquired  among  the  Mahometans  a  taste 
for  their  favorite  beverage.  The  convenience  of  being  able  to 
make  appointments  in  any  part  of  the  town,  and  of  being  able 
to  pass  evenings  socially  at  a  very  small  charge,  was  so  great 
that  the  fashion  spread  fast.  Every  man  of  the  upper  or  middle 
class  went  daily  to  his  coffee-house  to  learn  the  news  and  to  dis- 
cuss it.  Every  coffee-house  had  one  or  more  orators  to  whose 
eloquence  the  crowd  listened  with  admiration,  and  who  soon 
became  what  the  journalists  of  our  time  have  been  called,  a 
Fourth  Estate  of  the  realm.  The  court  had  long  seen  with  un- 
easiness the  growth  of  this  new  power  in  the  State.  An  attempt 


THOMAS   BABINGTON   MACAULAY  9387 

had  been  made,  during  Danby's  administration,  to  close  the  coffee- 
houses. But  men  of  all  parties  missed  their  usual  places  of 
resort  so  much  that  there  was  an  unusual  outcry.  The  govern- 
ment did  not  venture,  in  opposition  to  a  feeling  so  strong  and 
general,  to  enforce  a  regulation  of  which  the  legality  might  well 
be  questioned.  Since  that  time  ten  years  had  elapsed,  and  during 
those  years  the  number  and  influence  of  the  coffee-houses  had 
been  constantly  increasing.  Foreigners  remarked  that  the  coffee- 
house was  that  which  especially  distinguished  London  from  all 
other  cities;  that  the  coffee-house  was  the  Londoner's  home,  and 
that  those  who  wished  to  find  a  gentleman  commonly  asked,  not 
whether  he  lived  in  Fleet  Street  or  Chancery  Lane,  but  whether 
he  frequented  the  Grecian  or  the  Rainbow,  Nobody  was  excluded 
from  these  places  who  laid  down  his  penny  at  the  bar.  Yet 
every  rank  and  profession,  and  every  shade  of  religious  and  polit- 
ical opinion,  had  its  own  headquarters.  There  were  houses  near 
Saint  James's  Park  where  fops  congregated,  their  heads  and  shoul- 
ders covered  with  black  or  flaxen  wigs,  not  less  ample  than  those 
which  are  worn  by  the  Chancellor  and  by  the  Speaker  of  the 
House  of  Commons.  The  wig  came  from  Paris,  and  so  did  the 
rest  of  the  fine  gentleman's  ornaments, —  his  embroidered  coat,  his 
fringed  gloves,  and  the  tassel  which  upheld  his  pantaloons.  The 
conversation  was  in  that  dialect  which,  long  after  it  had  ceased 
to  be  spoken  in  fashionable  circles,  continued  in  the  mouth  of 
Lord  Foppington  to  excite  the  mirth  of  theatres.  The  atmo- 
sphere was  like  that  of  a  perfumer's  shop.  Tobacco  in  any  other 
form  than  that  of  richly  scented  snuff  was  held  in  abomination. 
If  any  clown,  ignorant  of  the  usages  of  the  house,  called  for  a 
pipe,  the  sneers  of  the  whole  assembly  and  the  short  answers  of 
the  waiters  soon  convinced  him  that  he  had  better  go  somewhere 
else.  Nor  indeed  would  he  have  had  far  to  go.  For  in  gen- 
eral, the  coffee-rooms  reeked  with  tobacco  like  a  guard-room;  and 
strangers  sometimes  expressed  their  surprise  that  so  many  peo- 
ple should  leave  their  own  firesides  to  sit  in  the  midst  of  eternal 
fog  and  stench.  Nowhere  was  the  smoking  more  constant  than 
at  Will's.  That  celebrated  house,  situated  between  Covent  Gar- 
den and  Bow  Street,  was  sacred  to  polite  letters.  There  the  talk 
was  about  poetical  justice  and  the  unities  of  place  and  time. 
There  was  a  faction  for  Perrault  and  the  moderns,  a  faction  for 
Boileau  and  the  ancients.  One  group  debated  whether  <  Paradise 
Lost*  ought  not  to  have  been  in  rhyme.  To  another  an  envious 


9388 


THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY 


poetaster  demonstrated  that  ( Venice  Preserved J  ought  to  have 
been  hooted  from  the  stage.  Under  no  roof  was  a  greater  vari- 
ety of  figures  to  be  seen.  There  were  earls  in  stars  and  garters, 
clergymen  in  cassocks  and  bands,  pert  Templars,  sheepish  lads 
from  the  universities,  translators  and  index-makers  in  ragged 
coats  of  frieze.  The  great  press  was  to  get  near  the  chair  where 
John  Dryden  sat.  In  winter  that  chair  was  always  in  the  warm- 
est nook  by  the  fire;  in  summer  it  stood  in  the  balcony.  To  bow 
to  the  Laureate,  and  to  hear  his  opinion  of  Racine's  last  tragedy 
or  of  Bossu's  treatise  on  epic  poetry,  was  thought  a  privilege. 
A  pinch  'from  his  snuff-box  was  an  honor  sufficient  to  turn  the 
head  of  a  young  enthusiast.  There  were  coffee-houses  where  the 
first  medical  men  might  be  consulted.  Dr.  John  -Radcliffe,  who  in 
the  year  1685  rose  to  the  largest  practice  in  London,  came  daily, 
at  the  hour  when  the  Exchange  was  full,  from  his  house  in 
Bow  Street,  then  a  fashionable  part  of  the  capital,  to  Garraway's; 
and  was  to  be  found,  surrounded  by  surgeons  and  apothecaries, 
at  a  particular  table.  There  were  Puritan  coffee-houses  where  no 
oath  was  heard,  and  where  lank -haired  men  discussed  election 
and  reprobation  through  their  noses;  Jew  coffee-houses  where 
dark  eyed  money-changers  from  Venice  and  Amsterdam  greeted 
each  other;  and  Popish  coffee-houses  where,  as  good  Protestants 
believed,  Jesuits  planned  over  their  cups  another  great  fire,  and 
cast  silver  bullets  to  shoot  the  King. 


THE  DIFFICULTY  OF  TRAVEL   IN   ENGLAND,    1685 
From  the  <  History  of  England  > 

THE  chief  cause  which  made  the  fusion  of  the  different  ele- 
ments of  society  so  imperfect  was  the  extreme  difficulty 
which  our  ancestors  found  in  passing  from  place  to  place. 
Of  all  inventions,  the  alphabet  and  the  printing-press  alone  ex- 
cepted,  those  inventions  which  abridge  distance  have  done  most 
for  the  civilization  of  our  species.  Every  improvement  of  the 
means  of  locomotion  benefits  mankind  morally  and  intellectually 
as  well  as  materially;  and  not  only  facilitates  the  interchange  of 
the  various  productions  of  nature  and  art,  but  tends  to  remove 
national  and  provincial  antipathies,  and  to  bind  together  all  the 
branches  of  the  great  human  family.  In  the  seventeenth  century 


THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY  9389 

the  inhabitants  of  London  were,  for  almost  every  practical  pur- 
pose, farther  from  Reading  than  they  now  are  from  Edinburgh, 
and  farther  from  Edinburgh  than  they  now  are  from  Vienna. 

The  subjects  of  Charles  the  Second  were  not,  it  is  true,  quite 
unacquainted  with  that  principle  which  has,  in  our  own  time, 
produced  an  unprecedented  revolution  in  human  affairs;  which 
has  enabled  navies  to  advance  in  face  of  wind  and  tide,  and 
brigades  of  troops,  attended  by  all  their  baggage  and  artillery,  to 
traverse  kingdoms  at  a  pace  equal  to  that  of  the  fleetest  race- 
horse. The  Marquess  of  Worcester  had  recently  observed  the 
expansive  power  of  moisture  rarefied  by  heat.  After  many  ex- 
periments he  had  succeeded  in  constructing  a  rude  steam-engine, 
which  he  called  a  fire-water  work,  and  which  he  pronounced  to 
be  an  admirable  and  most  forcible  instrument  of  propulsion. 
But  the  Marquess  was  suspected  to  be  a  madman,  and  known  to 
be  a  Papist.  His  inventions  therefore  found  no  favorable  recep- 
tion. His  fire-water  work  might  perhaps  furnish  matter  for 
conversation  at  a  meeting  of  the  Royal  Society,  but  was  not 
applied  to  any  practical  purpose.  There  were  no  railways,  except 
a  few  made  of  timber,  on  which  coals  were  carried  from  the 
mouths  of  the  Northumbrian  pits  to  the  banks  of  the  Tyne. 
There  was  very  little  internal  communication  by  water.  A  few 
attempts  had  been  made  to  deepen  and  embank  the  natural 
streams,  but  with  slender  success.  Hardly  a  single  navigable 
canal  had  been  even  projected.  The  English  of  that  day  were 
in  the  habit  of  talking  with  mingled  admiration  and  despair  of 
the  immense  trench  by  which  Lewis  the  Fourteenth  had  made  a 
junction  between  the  Atlantic  and  the  Mediterranean.  They  lit- 
tle thought  that  their  country  would,  in  the  course  of  a  few  gen- 
erations,  be  intersected,  at  the  cost  of  private  adventurers,  by 
artificial  rivers  making  up  more  than  four  times  the  length  of 
the  Thames,  the  Severn,  and  the  Trent  together. 

It  was  by  the  highways  that  both  travelers  and  goods  gener- 
ally passed  from  place  to  place;  and  those  highways  appear  to 
have  been  far  worse  than  might  have  been  expected  from  the 
degree  of  wealth  and  civilization  which  the  nation  had  even  then 
attained.  On  the  best  lines  of  communication  the  ruts  were 
deep,  the  descents  precipitous,  and  the  way  often  such  as  it  was 
hardly  possible  to  distinguish,  in  the  dusk,  from  the  uninclosed 
heath  and  fen  which  lay  on  both  sides.  Ralph  Thoresby  the 
antiquary  was  in  danger  of  losing  his  way  on  the  Great  North 


THOMAS  BABINGTON   MACAULAY 

Road,  between  Barnby  Moor  and  Tuxford,  and  actually  lost  his 
way  between  Doncaster  and  York.  Pepys  and  his  wife,  traveling 
in  their  own  coach,  lost  their  way  between  Newbury  and  Read- 
ing. In  the  course  of  the  same  tour  they  lost  their  way  near 
Salisbury,  and  were  in  danger  of  having  to  pass  the  night  on  the 
plain.  It  was  only  in  fine  weather  that  the  whole  breadth  of  the 
road  was  available  for  wheeled  vehicles.  Often  the  mud  lay 
deep  on  the  right  and  the  left;  and  only  a  narrow  track  of  firm 
ground  rose  above  the  quagmire.  At  such  times  obstructions  and 
quarrels  were  frequent,  and  the  path  was  sometimes  blocked  up 
during  a  long  time  by  carriers,  neither  of  whom  would  break  the 
way.  It  happened,  almost  every  day,  that  coaches  stuck  fast, 
until  a  team  of  cattle  could  be  procured  from  some  neighbor- 
ing farm,  to  tug  them  out  of  the  slough.  But  in  bad  seasons 
the  traveler  had  to  encounter  inconveniences  still  more  serious. 
Thoresby,  who  was  in  the  habit  of  traveling  between  Leeds  and 
the  capital,  has  recorded,  in  his  Diary,  such  a  series  of  perils  and 
disasters  as  might  suffice  for  a  journey  to  the  Frozen  Ocean  or 
to  the  Desert  of  Sahara.  On  one  occasion  he  learned  that  the 
floods  were  out  between  Ware  and  London,  that  passengers  had 
to  swim  for  their  lives,  and  that  a  higgler  had  perished  in  the 
attempt  to  cross.  In  consequence  of  these  tidings  he  turned  out 
of  the  high-road,  and  was  conducted  across  some  meadows,  where 
it  was  necessary  for  him  to  ride  to  the  saddle  skirts  in  water. 
In  the  course  of  another  journey  he  narrowly  escaped  being 
swept  away  by  an  inundation  of  the  Trent.  He  was  afterwards 
detained  at  Stamford  four  days,  on  account  of  the  state  of  the 
roads;  and  then  ventured  to  proceed  only  because  fourteen  mem- 
bers of  the  House  of  Commons,  who  were  going  up  in  a  body  to 
Parliament  with  guides  and  numerous  attendants,  took  him  into 
their  company.  On  the  roads  of  Derbyshire,  travelers  were  in 
constant  fear  for  their  necks,  and  were  frequently  compelled  to 
alight  and  lead  their  beasts.  The  great  route  through  Wales 
to  Holyhead  was  in  such  a  state  that  in  1685,  a  viceroy  going 
to  Ireland  was  five  hours  in  traveling  fourteen  miles,  from  St. 
Asaph  to  Conway.  Between  Conway  and  Beaumaris  he  was 
forced  to  walk  a  great  part  of  the  way;  and  his  lady  was  car- 
ried in  a  litter.  His  coach  was,  with  much  difficulty  and  by  the 
help  of  many  hands,  brought  after  him  entire.  In  general,  car- 
riages were  taken  to  pieces  at  Conway,  and  borne  on  the  shoul- 
ders of  stout  Welsh  peasants  to  the  Menai  Straits.  In  some 


THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY  939  r 

parts  of  Kent  and  Sussex,  none  but  the  strongest  horses  could 
in  winter  get  through  the  bog,  in  which  at  every  step  they 
sank  deep.  The  markets  were  often  inaccessible  during  several 
months.  It  is  said  that  the  fruits  of  the  earth  were  sometimes 
suffered  to  rot  in  one  place,  while  in  another  place,  distant  only 
a  few  miles,  the  supply  fell  far  short  of  the  demand.  The 
wheeled  carriages  were  in  this  district  generally  pulled  by  oxen. 
When  Prince  George  of  Denmark  visited  the  stately  mansion  of 
Petworth  in  wet  weather,  he  was  six  hours  in  going  nine  miles; 
and  it  was  necessary  that  a  body  of  sturdy  hinds  should  be  on 
each  side  of  his  coach,  in  order  to  prop  it.  Of  the  carriages 
which  conveyed  his  retinue,  several  were  upset  and  injured. 
A  letter  from  one  of  the  party  has  been  preserved,  in  which 
the  unfortunate  courtier  complains  that  during  fourteen  hours 
he  never  once  alighted,  except  when  his  coach  was  overturned 
or  stuck  fast  in  the  mud. 

One  chief  cause  of  the  badness  of  the  roads  seems  to  have 
been  the  defective  state  of  the  law.  Every  parish  was  bound 
to  repair  the  highways  which  passed  through  it.  The  peasantry 
were  forced  to  give  their  gratuitous  labor  six  days  in  the  year. 
If  this  was  not  sufficient,  hired  labor  was  employed,  and  the 
expense  was  met  by  a  parochial  rate.  That  a  route  connecting 
two  great  towns,  which  have  a  large  and  thriving  trade  with 
each  other,  should  be  maintained  at  the  cost  of  the  rural  popu- 
lation scattered  between  them,  is  obviously  unjust;  and  this 
injustice  was  peculiarly  glaring  in  the  case  of  the  Great  North 
Road,  which  traversed  very  poor  and  thinly  inhabited  districts, 
and  joined  very  rich  and  populous  districts.  Indeed,  it  was  not 
in  the  power  of  the  parishes  of  Huntingdonshire  to  mend  a  high- 
way worn  by  the  constant  traffic  between  the  West  Riding  of 
Yorkshire  and  London.  Soon  after  the  Restoration  this  griev- 
ance attracted  the  notice  of  Parliament;  and  an  act,  the  first  of 
our  many  turnpike  acts?  was  passed,  imposing  a  small  toll  on 
travelers  and  goods,  for  the  purpose  of  keeping  some  parts  of 
this  important  line  of  communication  in  good  Tepair.  This  inno- 
vation, however,  excited  many  murmurs;  and  the  other  great 
avenues  to  the  capital  were  long  left  under  the  old  system.  A 
change  was  at  length  effected,  but  not  without  much  difficulty. 
For  unjust  and  absurd  taxation  to  which  men  are  accustomed  is 
often  borne  far  more  willingly  than  the  most  reasonable  impost 
which  is  new.  It  was  not  till  many  toll-bars  had  been  violently 


THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY 

pulled  down,  till  the  troops  had  in  many  districts  been  forced  to 
act  against  the  people,  and  till  much  blood  had  been  shed,  that  a 
good  system  was  introduced.  By  slow  degrees  reason  triumphed 
over  prejudice;  and  our  island  is  now  crossed  in  every  direction 
by  near  thirty  thousand  miles  of  turnpike  road. 

On  the  best  highways  heavy  articles  were,  in  the  time  of 
Charles  the  Second,  generally  conveyed  from  place  to  place  by 
stage-wagons.  In  the  straw  of  these  vehicles  nestled  a  crowd 
of  passengers,  who  could  not  afford  to  travel  by  coach  or  on 
horseback,  and  who  were  prevented  by  infirmity,  or  by  the  weight 
of  their  luggage,  from  going  on  foot.  Trie  expense  of  transmit- 
ting heavy  goods  in  this  way  was  enormous.  From  London  to 
Birmingham  the  charge  was  seven  pounds  a  ton;  from  London 
to  Exeter  twelve  pounds  a  ton.  This  was  about  fifteen  pence  a 
ton  for  every  mile;  more  by  a  third  than  was  afterwards  charged 
on  turnpike  roads,  and  fifteen  times  what  is  now  demanded 
by  railway  companies.  The  cost  of  conveyance  amounted  to  a 
prohibitory  tax  on  many  useful  articles.  Coal  in  particular  was 
never  seen  except  in  the  districts  wh6re  it  was  produced,  or  in 
the  districts  to  which  it  could  be  carried  by  sea;  and  was  indeed 
always  known  in  the  south  of  England  by  the  name  of  sea-coal. 

On  by-roads,  and  generally  throughout  the  country  north  of 
York  and  west  of  Exeter,  goods  were  carried  by  long  trains  of 
pack-horses.  These  strong  and  patient  beasts,  the  breed  of  which 
is  now  extinct,  were  attended  by  a  class  of  men  who  seem  to 
have  borne  much  resemblance  to  the  Spanish  muleteers.  A  trav- 
eler of  humble  condition  often  found  it  convenient  to  perform  a 
journey  mounted  on  a  pack-saddle  between  two  baskets,  under  the 
care  of  these  hardy  guides.  The  expense  of  this  mode  of  con- 
veyance was  small.  But  the  caravan  moved  at  a  foot's  pace;  and 
in  winter  the  cold  was  often  insupportable. 

The  rich  commonly  traveled  in  their  own  carriages,  with  at 
least  four  horses.  Cotton,  the  facetious  poet,  attempted  to  go 
from  London  to  the  Peak  with  a  single  pair;  but  found  at  St. 
Albans  that  the  journey  would  be  insupportably  tedious,  and 
altered  his  plan.  -A  coach-and-six  is  in  our  time  never  seen, 
except  as  part  of  some  pageant.  The  frequent  mention  there- 
fore of  such  equipages  in  old  books  is  likely  to  mislead  us.  We 
attribute  to  magnificence  what  was  really  the  effect  of  a  very 
disagreeable  necessity.  People  in  the  time  of  Charles  the  Sec- 
ond traveled  with  six  horses,  because  with  a  smaller  number 


THOMAS  BABINGTON   MACAULAY 


9393 


there  was  great  danger  of  sticking  fast  in  the  mire.  Nor  were 
even  six  horses  always  sufficient.  Vanbrugh,  in  the  succeeding 
generation,  described  with  great  humor  the  way  in  which  a 
country  gentleman,  newly  chosen  a  member  of  Parliament,  went 
up  to  London.  On  that  occasion  all  the  exertions  of  six  beasts, 
two  of  which  had  been  taken-  from  the  plow,  could  not  save  the 
family  coach  from  being  imbedded  in  a  quagmire. 

Public  carriages  had  recently  been  much  improved.  During 
the  years  which  immediately  followed  the  Restoration,  a  dili- 
gence ran  between  London  and  Oxford  in  two  days.  The  pas- 
sengers slept  at  Beaconsfield.  At  length,  in  the  spring  of.  1669, 
a  great  and  daring  innovation  was  attempted.  It  was  announced 
that  a  vehicle,  described  as  the  Flying  Coach,  would  perform  the 
whole  journey  between  sunrise  and  sunset.  This  spirited  under- 
taking was  solemnly  considered  and  sanctioned  by  the  Heads  of 
the  University,  and  appears  to  have  excited  the  same  sort  of  in- 
terest which  is  excited  in  our  own  time  by  the  opening  of  a  new 
railway.  The  Vice-Chancellor,  by  a  notice  affixed  in  all  public 
places,  prescribed  the  hour  and  place  of  departure.  The  success 
of  the  experiment  was  complete.  At  six  in  the  morning  the  car- 
riage began  to  move  from  before  the  ancient  front  of  All  Souls 
College;  and  at  seven  in  the  evening  the  adventurous  gentlemen 
who  had  run  the  first  risk  were  safely  deposited  at  their  inn  in 
London.  The  emulation  of  the  sister  university  was  moved; 
and  soon  a  diligence  was  set  up  which  in  one  day  carried  passen- 
gers from  Cambridge  to  the  capital.  At  the  close  of  the  reign 
of  Charles  the  Second,  flying  carriages  ran  thrice  a  week  from 
London  to  the  chief  towns.  But  no  stage-coach,  indeed  no  stage- 
wagon,  appears  to  have  proceeded  further  north  than  York,  or 
further  west  than  Exeter.  The  ordinary  day's  journey  of  a  flying 
coach  was  about  fifty  miles  in  the  summer;  but  in  winter,  when 
the  ways  were  bad  and  the  nights  long,  little  more  than  thirty. 
The  Chester  coach,  the  York  coach,  and  the  Exeter  coach  gen- 
erally  reached  London  in  four  days  during  the  fine  season,  but  at 
Christmas  not  till  the  sixth  day.  The  passengers,  six  in  number, 
were  all  seated  in  the  carriage;  for  accidents  were  so  frequent 
that  it  would  have  been  most  perilous  to  mount  the  roof.  The 
ordinary  fare  was  about  twopence  halfpenny  a  mile  in  summer, 
and  somewhat  more  in  winter. 

This  mode  of  traveling,  which  by  Englishmen  of  the  pres- 
ent day  would  be  regarded  as  insufferably  slow,  seemed  to  our 


THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY 

ancestors  wonderfully  and  indeed  alarmingly  rapid.  In  a  work 
published  a  few  months  before  the  death  of  Charles  the  Second, 
the  flying  coaches  are  extolled  as  far  superior  to  any  similar 
vehicles  ever  known  in  the  world.  Their  velocity  is  the  subject 
of  special  commendation,  and  is  triumphantly  contrasted  with 
the  sluggish  pace  of  the  Continental  posts.  But  with  boasts  like 
these  was  mingled  the  sound  of  complaint  and  invective.  The 
interests  of  large  classes  had  been  unfavorably  affected  by  the 
establishment  of  the  new  diligences;  and  as  usual,  many  per- 
sons were,  from  mere  stupidity  and  obstinacy,  disposed  to  clamor 
against  the  innovation  simply  because  it  was  an  innovation.  It 
was  vehemently  argued  that  this  mode  of  conveyance  would  be 
fatal  to  the  breed  of  horses  and  to  the  noble  art  of  horseman- 
ship; that  the  Thames,  which  had  long  been  an  important  nursery 
of  seamen,  would  cease  to  be  the  chief  thoroughfare  from  London 
up  to  Windsor  and  down  to  Gravesend;  that  saddlers  and  spur- 
riers would  be  ruined  by  hundreds;  that  numerous  inns,  at  which 
mounted  travelers  had  been  in  the  habit  of  stopping,  would  be 
deserted,  and  would  no  longer  pay  any  rent;  that  the  new  car- 
riages were  too  hot  in  summer  and  too  cold  in  winter;  that  the 
passengers  were  grievously  annoyed  by  invalids  and  crying  child- 
ren; that  the  coach  sometimes  reached  the  inn  so  late  that  it 
was  impossible  to  get  supper,  and  sometimes  started  so  early  that 
it  was  impossible  to  get  breakfast.  On  these  grounds  it  was 
gravely  recommended  that  no  public  coach  should  be  permitted 
to  have  more  than  four  horses,  to  start  oftener  than  once  a  week, 
or  to  go  more  than  thirty  miles  a  day.  It  was  hoped  that  if 
this  regulation  were  adopted,  all  except  the  sick  and  the  lame 
would  return  to  the  old  mode  of  traveling.  Petitions  embodying 
such  opinions  as  these  were  presented  to  the  King  in  council 
from  several  companies  of  the  City  of  London,  from  several  pro- 
vincial towns,  and  from  the  justices  of  several  counties.  We 
smile  at  these  things.  It  is  not  impossible  that  our  descendants, 
when  they  read  the  history  of  the  opposition  offered  by  cupidity 
and  prejudice  to  the  improvements  of  the  nineteenth  century, 
may  smile  in  their  turn. 

In  spite  of  the  attractions  of  the  flying  coaches,  it  was  still 
usual  for  men  who  enjoyed  health  and  vigor,  and  who  were  not 
incumbered  by  much  baggage,  to  perform  long  journeys  on 
horseback.  If  a  traveler  wished  to  move  expeditiously,  he  rode 
post.  Fresh  saddle-horses  and  guides  were  to  be  procured  afc 


THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY 

convenient  distances  along  all  the  great  lines  of  road.  The  charge 
was  threepence  a  mile  for  each  horse,  and  fourpence  a  stage  for 
the  guide.  In  this  manner,  when  the  ways  were  good,  it  was 
possible  to  travel,  for  a  considerable  time,  as  rapidly  as  by  any 
conveyance  known  in  England,  till  vehicles  were  propelled  by 
steam.  There  were  as  yet  no  post-chaises;  nor  could  those  who 
rode  in  their  own  coaches  ordinarily  procure  a  change  of  horses. 
The  King,  however,  and  the  great  officers  of  State,  were  able 
to  command'  relays.  Thus,  Charles  commonly  went  in  one  day 
from  Whitehall  to  Newmarket,  a  distance  of  about  fifty-five  miles, 
through  a  level  country;  and  this  was  thought  by  his  subjects  a 
proof  of  great  activity.  Evelyn  performed  the  same  journey  in 
company  with  the  Lord  Treasurer  Clifford.  The  coach  was  drawn 
by  six  horses,  which  were  changed  at  Bishop  Stortford  and  again 
at  Chesterford.  The  travelers  reached  Newmarket  at  night.  Such 
a  mode  of  conveyance  seems  to  have  been  considered  as  a  rare 
luxury,  confined  to  princes  and  ministers. 


THE  HIGHWAYMAN 
From  the  <  History  of  England  > 

WHATEVER  might  be  the  way  in  which  a  journey  was  per- 
formed, the  travelers,  unless  they  were  numerous  and 
well  armed,  ran  considerable  risk  of  being  stopped  and 
plundered.  The  mounted  highwayman,  a  marauder  known  to  ouf 
generation  only  from  books,  was  to  be  found  on  every  main  road. 
The  waste  tracts  which  lay  on  the  great  routes  near  London  were 
especially  haunted  by  plunderers  of  this  class.  Hounslow  Heath 
on  the  Great  Western  Road,  and  Finchley  Common  on  the  Great 
Northern  Road,  were  perhaps  the  most  celebrated  of  these  spots. 
The  Cambridge  scholars  trembled  when  they  approached  Epping 
Forest,  even  in  broad  daylight.  Seamen  who  had  just  been  paid 
off  at  Chatham  were  often  compelled  to  deliver  their  purses  on 
Gadshill,  celebrated  near  a  hundred  years  earlier  by  the  greatest 
of  poets  as  the  scene  of  the  depredations  of  Falstaff.  The  public 
authorities  seem  to  have  been  often  at  a  loss  how  to  deal  with 
the  plunderers.  At  one  time  it  was  announced  in  the  Gazette 
that  several  persons,  who  were  strongly  suspected  of  being  high- 
waymen, but  against  wrhom  there  was  not  sufficient  evidence, 
would  be  paraded  at  Newgate  in  riding  dresses:  their  horses 


0396  THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY 

would  also  be  shown;  and  all  gentlemen  who  had  been  robbed 
were  invited  to  inspect  this  singular  exhibition.  On  another 
occasion  a  pardon  was  publicly  offered  to  a  robber  if  he  would 
give  up  some  rough  diamonds,  of  immense  value,  which  he  had 
taken  when  he  stopped  the  Harwich  mail.  A  short  time  after 
appeared  another  proclamation,  warning  the  innkeepers  that  the 
eye  of  the  government  was  upon  them.  Their  criminal  conniv- 
ance, it  was  affirmed,  enabled  banditti  to  infest  the  roads  with 
impunity.  That  these  suspicions  were  not  without  foundation,  is 
proved  by  the  dying  speeches  of  some  penitent  robbers  of  that 
age,  who  appear  to  have  received  from  the  innkeepers  services 
much  resembling  those  which  Farquhar's  Boniface  rendered  to 
Gibbet. 

It  was  necessary  to  the  success  and  even  to  the  safety  of  the 
highwayman  that  he  should  be  a  bold  and  skillful  rider,  and  that 
his  manners  and  appearance  should  be  such  as  suited  the  mastel 
of  a  fine  horse.  He  therefore  held  an  aristocratical  position  in 
the  community  of  thieves,  appeared  at  fashionable  coffee-houses 
and  gaming-houses,  and  betted  with  men  of  quality  on  the  race 
ground.  Sometimes,  indeed,  he  was  a  man  of  good  family  and 
education.  A  romantic  interest  therefore  attached,  and  perhaps 
still  attaches,  to  the  names  of  freebooters  of  this  class.  The  vul- 
gar eagerly  drank  in  tales  of  their  ferocity  and  audacity,  of  their 
occasional  acts  of  generosity  and  good-nature,  of  their  amours,  of 
their  miraculous  escapes,  of  their  desperate  struggles,  and  of  their 
manly  bearing  at  the  bar  and  in  the  cart.  Thus  it  was  related 
of  William  Nevison,  the  great  robber  of  Yorkshire,  that  he  levied 
a  quarterly  tribute  on  all  the  northern  drovers,  and,  in  return, 
not  only  spared  them  himself,  but  protected  them  against  all 
other  thieves;  that  he  demanded  purses  in  the  most  courteous 
manner;  that  he  gave  largely  to  the  poor  what  he  had  taken 
from  the  rich;  that  his  life  was  once  spared  by  the  royal  clem- 
ency, but  that  he  again  tempted  his  fate,  and  at  length  died,  in 
1685,  on  the  gallows  of  York.  It  was  related  how  Claude  Duval, 
the  French  page  of  the  Duke  of  Richmond,  took  to  the  road, 
became  captain  of  a  formidable  gang,  and  had  the  honor  to  be 
named  first  in  a  royal  proclamation  against  notorious  offenders; 
how  at  the  head  of  his  troop  he  stopped  a  lady's  coach,  in  which 
there  was  a  booty  of  four  hundred  pounds ;  how  he  took  only  one 
hundred,  and  suffered  the  fair  cwner  to  ransom  the  rest  by  dan- 
cing a  coranto  with  him  on  the  heath;  how  his  vivacious  gallantry 


THOMAS   BABINGTON   MACAULAY  9397 

stole  away  the  hearts  of  all  women;  how  his  dexterity  at  sword 
and  pistol  made  him  a  terror  to  all  men:  how  at  length,  in  the 
year  1670,  he  was  seized  when  overcome  by  wine;  how  dames  of 
high  rank  visited  him  in  prison,  and  with  tears  interceded  for  his 
life;  how  the  King  would  have  granted  a  pardon,  but  for  the 
interference  of  Judge  Morton,  the  terror  of  highwaymen,  who 
threatened  to  resign  his  office  unless  the  law  were  carried  into 
full  effect;  and  how,  after  the  execution,  the  corpse  lay  in  state 
with  all  the  pomp  of  scutcheons,  wax-lights,  black  hangings,  and 
mutes,  till  the  same  cruel  judge,  who  had  intercepted  the  mercy 
of  the  Crown,  sent  officers  to  disturb  the  obsequies.  In  these 
anecdotes  there  is  doubtless  a  large  mixture  of  fable:  but  they 
are  not  on  that  account  unworthy  of  being  recorded;  for  it  is 
both  an  authentic  and  an  important  fact  that  such  tales,  whether 
false  or  true,  were  heard  by  our  ancestors  with  eagerness  and 
faith. 


THE    DELUSION     OF    OVERRATING    THE    HAPPINESS    OF    OUR 

ANCESTORS 

From  the  ( History  of  England  > 

THE  general  effect  of  the  evidence  which  has  been  submitted 
to  the  reader  seems  hardly  to  admit  of  doubt.  Yet  in  spite 
of  evidence,  many  will  still  image  to  themselves  the  Eng- 
land of  the  Stuarts  as  a  more  pleasant  country  than  the  England 
in  which  we  live.  It  may  at  first  sight  seem  strange  that  society, 
while  constantly  moving  forward  with  eager  speed,  should  be  con- 
stantly looking  backward  with  tender  regret.  But  these  two  pro- 
pensities, inconsistent  as  they  may  appear,  can  easily  be  resolved 
into  the  same  principle.  Both  spring  from  our  impatience  of  the 
state  in  which  we  actually  are.  That  impatience,  while  it  stimu- 
lates us  to  surpass  preceding  generations,  disposes  us  to  overrate 
their  happiness.  It  is,  in  some  sense,  unreasonable  and  ungrate- 
ful in  us  to  be  constantly  discontented  with  a  condition  which  is 
constantly  improving.  But  in  truth,  there  is  constant  improve- 
ment precisely  because  there  is  constant  discontent.  If  we  were 
perfectly  satisfied  with  the  present,  we  should  cease  to  contrive,  to 
labor,  and  to  save  with  a  view  to  the  future.  And  it  is  natural 
that  being  dissatisfied  with  the  present,  we  should  form  a  too 
favorable  estimate  of  the  past. 


9398 


THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY 


In  truth,  we  are  tirider  a  deception  similar  to  that  which  mis- 
leads the  traveler  in  the  Arabian  desert.  Beneath  the  caravan 
all  is  dry  and  bare;  but  far  in  advance,  and  far  in  the  rear,  is 
the  semblance  of  refreshing  waters.  The  pilgrims  hasten  forward 
and  find  nothing  but  sand  where  an  hour  before  they  had  seen  a 
lake.  They  turn  their  eyes  and  see  a  lake  where,  an  hour  before, 
they  were  toiling  through  sand.  A  similar  illusion  seems  to  haunt 
nations  through  every  stage  of  the  long  progress  from  poverty 
and  barbarism  to  the  highest  degrees  of  opulence  and  civiliza- 
tion. But  if  we  resolutely  chase  the  mirage  backward,  we  shall 
find  it  recede  before  us  into  the  regions  of  fabulous  antiquity.  It 
is  now  the  fashion  to  place  the  golden  age  of  England  in  times 
when  noblemen  were  destitute  of  comforts  the  want  of  which 
would  be  intolerable  to  a  modern  footman,  when  farmers  and 
shopkeepers  breakfasted  on  loaves  the  very  sight  of  which  would 
raise  a  riot  in  a  modern  workhouse,  when  to  have  a  clean  shirt 
once  a  week  was  a  privilege  reserved  for  the  higher  class  of  gen- 
try, when  men  died  faster  in  the  purest  country  air  than  they 
now  die  in  the  most  pestilential  lanes  of  our  towns,  and  when 
men  died  faster  in  the  lanes  of  our  towns  than  they  now  die  on 
the  coast  of  Guiana.  We  too  shall  in  our  turn  be  outstripped, 
and  in  our  turn  be  envied.  It  may  well  be,  in  the  twentieth 
century,  that  the  peasant  of  Dorsetshire  may  think  himself  miser- 
ably paid  with  twenty  shillings  a  week;  that  the  carpenter  at 
Greenwich  may  receive  ten  shillings  a  day;  that  laboring  men 
may  be  as  little  used  to  dine  without  meat  as  they  are  now  to 
eat  rye  bread;  that  sanitary  police  and  medical  discoveries  may 
have  added  several  more  years  to  the  average  length  of  human 
life;  that  numerous  comforts  and  luxuries  which  are  now  un- 
known, or  confined  to  a  few,  may  be  within  the  reach  of  every 
diligent  and  thrifty  workingman.  And  yet  it  may  then  be  the 
mode  to  assert  that  the  increase  of  wealth  and  the  progress  of 
science  have  benefited  the  few  at  the  expense  of  the  many,  and 
to  talk  of  the  reign  of  Queen  Victoria  as  the  time  when  England 
was  truly  merry  England,  when  all  classes  were  bound  together 
by  brotherly  sympathy,  when  the  rich  did  not  grind  the  faces  of 
the  poor,  and  when  the  poor  did  not  envy  the  splendor  of  the 
rich. 


v 


m 


PURITANS  GOING  TO  CHURCH 

Photogravure  from  a  painting  by  Boughton. 


THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY  9399 

THE  PURITAN 
From  the  Essay  on  <John  Milton  * 

WE  WOULD  speak  first  cf  the  Puritans;  the  most  remarkable 
body  of  men,  perhaps,  which  the  world  has  ever  produced. 
The  odious  and  ridiculous  parts  of  their  character  lie  on 
the  surface.  He  that  runs  may  read  them;  nor  have  there  been 
wanting  attentive  and  malicious  observers  to  point  them  out. 
For  many  years  after  the  Restoration  they  were  the  theme  of 
unmeasured  invective  and  derision.  They  were  exposed  to  the 
utmost  licentiousness  of  the  press  and  of  the  stage,  at  the  time 
when  the  press  and  the  stage  were  most  licentious.  They  were 
not  men  of  letters;  they  were  as  a  body  unpopular;  they  could 
not  defend  themselves,  and  the  public  would  not  take  them 
under  its  protection.  They  were  therefore  abandoned,  without 
reserve,  to  the  tender  mercies  of  the  satirists  and  dramatists. 
The  ostentatious  simplicity  of  their  dress,  their  sour  aspect,  their 
nasal  twang,  their  stiff  posture,  their  long  graces,  their  Hebrew 
names,  the  Scriptural  phrases  which  they  introduced  on  every 
occasion,  their  contempt  of  human  learning,  their  detestation  of 
polite  amusements,  were  indeed  fair  game  for  the  laughers.  But 
it  is  not  from  the  laughers  alone  that  the  philosophy  of  history 
is  to  be  learnt.  And  he  who  approaches  this  subject  should  care- 
fully guard  against  the  influence  of  that  potent  ridicule  which  has 
already  misled  so  many  excellent  writers. 

(<Ecco  il  fonte  del  riso,  ed  ecco  il  rio 

Che  mortali  perigli  in  se  contiene; 
Hor  qui  tener  a  fren  nostro  desio, 

Ed  esser  cauti  molto  a  noi  conviene.** 

Those  who  roused  the  people  to  resistance,  who  directed  their 
measures  through  a  long  series  of  eventful  years,  who  formed 
out  of  the  most  unpromising  materials  the  finest  army  that 
Europe  had  ever  seen,  who  trampled  down  King,  Church,  and 
Aristocracy,  who,  in  the  short  intervals  of  domestic  sedition  and 
rebellion,  made  the  name  of  England  terrible  to  every  nation 
on  the  face  of  the  earth, — were  no  vulgar  fanatics.  Most  of  their 

*  «  Behold  the  fount  of  mirth,  behold  the  rill 
Containing  mortal  perils  in  itself; 
And  therefore  here  to  bridle  our  desires, 
And  to  be  cautious  well  doth  us  befit. )J 


94oo  THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY 

absurdities  were  mere  external  badges,  like  the  signs  of  free- 
masonry or  the  dresses  of  friars.  We  regret  that  these  badges 
were  not  more  attractive.  We  regret  that  a  body  to  whose  cour- 
age and  talents  mankind  has  owed  inestimable  obligations  had 
not  the  lofty  elegance  which  distinguished  some  of  the  adherents 
of  Charles  the  First,  or  the  easy  good-breeding  for  which  the  court 
of  Charles  the  Second  was  celebrated.  But  if  we  must  make  our 
choice,  we  shall,  like  Bassanio  in  the  play,  turn  from  the  specious 
caskets  which  contain  only  the  Death's-head  and  the  Fool's-head, 
and  fix  on  the  plain  leaden  chest  which  conceals  the  treasure. 

The  Puritans  were  men  whose  minds  had  derived  a  peculiar 
character  from  the  daily  contemplation  of  superior  beings  and 
eternal  interests.  Not  content  with  acknowledging,  in  general 
terms,  an  overruling  Providence,  they  habitually  ascribed  every 
event  to  the  will  of  the  Great  Being  for  whose  power  nothing 
was  too  vast,  for  whose  inspection  nothing  was  too  minute.  To 
know  him,  to  serve  him,  to  enjoy  him,  was  with  them  the  great 
end  of  existence.  They  rejected  with  contempt  the  ceremoni- 
ous homage  which  other  sects  substituted  for  the  pure  worship  of 
the  soul.  Instead  of  catching  occasional  glimpses  of  the  Deity 
through  an  obscuring  veil,  they  aspired  to  gaze  full  on  his  intol- 
erable brightness,  and  to  commune  with  him  face  to  face.  Hence 
originated  their  contempt  for  terrestrial  distinctions.  The  differ- 
ence between  the  greatest  and  the  meanest  of  mankind  seemed 
to  vanish,  when  compared  with  the  boundless  interval  which  sep- 
arated the  whole  race  from  Him  on  whom  their  own  eyes  w.ere 
constantly  fixed.  They  recognized  no  title  to  superiority  but  his 
favor;  and,  confident  of  that  favor,  they  despised  all  the  accom- 
plishments and  all  the  dignities  of  the  world.  If  they  were  un- 
acquainted  with  the  works  of  philosophers  and  poets,  they  were 
deeply  read  in  the  oracles  of  God.  If  their  names  were  not 
found  in  the  registers  of  heralds,  they  were  recorded  in  the  Book 
of  Life.  If  their  steps  were  not  accompanied  by  a  splendid  train 
of  menials,  legions  of  ministering  angels  had  charge  over  them. 
Their  palaces  were  houses  not  made  with  hands,  their  diadems 
crowns  of  glory  which  should  never  fade  away.  On  the  rich 
and  the  eloquent,  on  nobles  and  priests,  they  looked  down  with 
contempt;  for  they  esteemed  themselves  rich  in  a  more  precious 
treasure  and  eloquent  in  a  more  sublime  language,  nobles  "by 
the  right  of  an  earlier  creation  and  priests  by  the  imposition  oi 
a  mightier  hand.  The  very  meanest  of  them  was  a  being 


THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY 


9401 


whose  fate  a  mysterious  and  terrible  importance  belonged;  on 
whose  slightest  action  the  spirits  of  light  and  darkness  looked 
with  anxious  interest;  who  had  been  destined,  before  heaven  and 
earth  were  created,  to  enjoy  a  felicity  which  should  continue  when 
heaven  and  earth  should  have  passed  away.  Events  which  short- 
sighted politicians  ascribed  to  earthly  causes,  had  been  ordained 
on  his  account.  For  his  sake  empires  had  risen,  and  flourished, 
and  decayed.  For  his  sake  the  Almighty  had  proclaimed  his 
will  by  the  pen  of  the  Evangelist  and  the  harp  of  the  prophet 
He  had  been  wrested  by  no  common  deliverer  from  the  grasp 
of  no  common  foe.  He  had  been  ransomed  by  the  sweat  of  no 
vulgar  agony,  by  the  blood  of  no  earthly  sacrifice.  It  was  for 
him  that  the  sun  had  been  darkened,  that  the  rocks  had  been 
rent,  that  the  dead  had  risen,  that  all  nature  had  shuddered  at 
the  sufferings  of  her  expiring  God. 

Thus  the  Puritan  was  made  up  of  two  different  men:  the  one 
all  self-abasement,  penitence,  gratitude,  passion;  the  other  proud, 
calm,  inflexible,  sagacious.  He  prostrated  himself  in  the  dust  be- 
fore his  Maker;  but  he  set  his  foot  on  the  neck  of  his  king.  In 
his  devotional  retirement  he  prayed  with  convulsions,  and  groans, 
and  tears.  He  was  half  maddened  by  glorious  or  terrible  illus- 
ions. He  heard  the  lyres  of  angels  or  the  tempting  whispers 
of  fiends.  He  caught  a  gleam  of  the  Beatific  Vision,  or  woke 
screaming  from  dreams  of  everlasting  fire.  Like  Vane,  he  thought 
himself  intrusted  with  the  sceptre  of  the  millennial  year.  Like 
Fleetwood,  he  cried  in  the  bitterness  of  his  soul  that  God  had 
hid  his 'face  from  him.  But  when  he  took  his  seat  in  the  coun- 
cil, or  girt  on  his  sword  for  war,  these  tempestuous  workings  of 
the  soul  had  left  no  perceptible  trace  behind  them.  People  who 
saw  nothing  of  the  godly  but  their  uncouth  visages,  and  heard 
nothing  from  them  but  their  groans  and  their  whining  hymns, 
might  laugh  at  them.  But  those  had  little  reason  to  laugh  who 
encountered  them  in  the  hall  of  debate  or  on  the  field  of  battle. 
These  fanatics  brought  to  civil  and  military  affairs  a  coolness 
of  judgment  and  an  immutability  of  purpose  which  some  writers 
have  thought  inconsistent  with  their  religious  zeal,  but  which 
were  in  fact  the  necessary  effects  of  it.  The  intensity  of  their 
feelings  on  one  subject  made  them  tranquil  on  every  other.  One 
overpowering  sentiment  had  subjected  to  itself  pity  and  hatred, 
ambition  and  fear.  Death  had  lost  its  terrors,  and  pleasure  its 
charms.  Thev  had  their  smiles  and  their  tears,  their  raptures 


THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY 

and  their  sorrows;  but  not  for  the  things  of  this  world.  Enthu. 
siasm  had  made  them  Stoics;  had  cleared  their  minds  from  every 
vulgar  passion  and  prejudice,  and  raised  them  above  the  influ- 
ence of  danger  and  of  corruption.  It  sometimes  might  lead  them 
to  pursue  unwise  ends,  but  never  to  choose  unwise  means.  They 
went  through  the  world,  like  Sir  Artegal's  iron  man  Talus  with 
his  flail,  crushing  and  trampling  down  oppressors,  mingling  with 
human  beings,  but  having  neither  part  nor  lot  in  human  infirm- 
ities; insensible  to  fatigue,  to  pleasure,  and  to  pain;  not  to  be 
pierced  by  any  weapon,  not  to  be  withstood  by  any  barrier. 

Such  we  believe  to  have  been  the  character  of  the  Puritans. 
We  perceive  the  absurdity  of  their  manners.  We  dislike  the  sul- 
len gloom  of  their  domestic  habits.  We  acknowledge  that  the 
tone  of  their  minds  was  often  injured  by  straining  after  things 
too  high  for  mortal  reach:  and  we  know  that  in  spite  of  their 
hatred  of  Popery,  they  too  often  fell  into  the  worst  vices  of  that 
bad  system, — intolerance  and  extravagant  austerity;  that  they  had 
their  anchorites  and  their  crusades,  their  Dunstans  and  their  De 
Montforts,  their  Dominies  and  their  Escobars.  Yet,  when  all  cir- 
cumstances are  taken  into  consideration,  we  do  not  hesitate  to 
pronounce  them  a  brave,  a  wise,  an  honest,  and  a  useful  body. 


SPAIN  UNDER  PHILIP  IL 

Prom  the  Essay  on  Lord  Mahon's  <  History  of  the  War  of  the  Succession  in 

Spain  * 

WHOEVER  wishes  to  be  well  acquainted  with  the  morbid  anat- 
omy of  governments,  whoever  wishes  to  know  how  great 
States  may  be  made  feeble  and  wretched,  should  study 
the  history  of  Spain.  The  empire  of  Philip  the  Second  was 
undoubtedly  one  of  the  most  powerful  and  splendid  that  ever 
existed  in  the  world.  In  Europe,  he  ruled  Spain,  Portugal,  the 
Netherlands  on  both  sides  of  the  Rhine,  Tranche  Comte,  Rous- 
sillon,  the  Milanese,  and  the  Two  Sicilies.  Tuscany,  Parma, 
and  the  other  small  States  of  Italy,  were  as  completely  dependent 
on  him  as  the  Nizam  and  the  Rajah  of  Berar  now  are  on  the 
East  India  Company.  In  Asia,  the  King  of  Spain  was  master  of 
the  Philippines,  and  of  all  those  rich  settlements  which  the  Por- 
tuguese had  made  on  the  coasts  of  Malabar  and  Coromandel,  in 
the  Peninsula  of  Malacca,  and  in  the  spice  islands  of  the  Eastern 


THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY  9403 

Archipelago.  In  America,  his  dominions  extended  on  each  side 
of  the  equator  into  the  temperate  zone.  There  is  reason  to 
believe  that  his  annual  revenue  amounted,  in  the  season  of  his 
greatest  power,  to  a  sum  near  ten  times  as  large  as  that  which 
England  yielded  to  Elizabeth.  He  had  a  standing  army  of  fifty 
thousand  excellent .  troops,  at  a  time  when  England  had  not  a 
single  battalion  in  constant  pay.  His  ordinary  naval  force  con- 
sisted of  a  hundred  and  forty  galleys.  He  held,  what  no  other 
prince  in  modern  times  has  held,  the  dominion  both  of  the  land 
and  of  the  sea.  During  the  greater  part  of  his  reign,  he  was 
supreme  on  both  elements.  His  soldiers  marched  up  to  the  capi- 
tal of  France;  his  ships  menaced  the  shores  of  England. 

It  is  no  exaggeration  to  say  that  during  several  years,  his 
power  over  Europe  was  greater  than  even  that  of  Napoleon. 
The  influence  of  the  French  conqueror  never  extended  beyond 
low-water  mark.  The  narrowest  strait  was  to  his  power  what  it 
was  of  old  believed  that  a  running  stream  was  to  the  sorceries 
of  a  witch.  While  his  army  entered  every  metropolis  from 
Moscow  to  Lisbon,  the  English  fleets  blockaded  every  port  from 
Dantzic  to  Trieste.  Sicily,  Sardinia,  Majorca,  Guernsey,  enjoyed 
security  through  the  whole  course  of  a  war  which  endangered 
every  throne  on  the  Continent.  The  victorious  and  imperial 
nation  which  had  filled  its  museums  with  the  spoils  of  Antwerp, 
of  Florence,  and  of  Rome,  was  suffering  painfully  from  the  want 
of  luxuries  which  use  had  made  necessaries.  While  pillars  and 
arches  were  rising  to  commemorate  the  French  conquests,  the 
conquerors  were  trying  to  manufacture  coffee  out  of  succory  and 
sugar  out  of  beet-root.  The  influence  of  Philip  on  the  Continent 
was  as  great  as  that  of  Napoleon.  The  Emperor  of  Germany 
was  his  kinsman.  France,  torn  by  religious  dissensions,  was 
never  a  formidable  opponent,  and  was  sometimes  a  dependent 
ally.  At  the  same  time,  Spain  had  what  Napoleon  desired  in 
vain, —  ships,  colonies,  and  commerce.  She  long  monopolized  the 
trade  of  America  and  of  the  Indian  Ocean.  All  the  gold  of  the 
West,  and  all  the  spices  of  the  East,  were  received  and  distributed 
by  her.  During  many  years  of  war,  her  commerce  was  inter- 
rupted only  by  the  predatory  enterprises  of  a  few  roving  pri- 
vateers. Even  after  the  defeat  of  the  Armada,  English  statesmen 
continued  to  look  with  great  dread  on  the  maritime  power  of 
Philip.  «  The  King  of  Spain, »  said  the  Lord  Keeper  to  the  two 
Houses  in  1593,  <(  since  he  hath  usurped  upon  the  kingdom  of 


9404  THOMAS   BABINGTON   MACAULAY 

Portugal,  hath  thereby  grown  mighty  by  gaining  the  East  Indies; 
so  as,  how  great  soever  he  was  before,  he  is  now  thereby  mani- 
festly more  great.  .  .  .  He  keepeth  a  navy  armed  to  impeach 
all  trade  of  merchandise  from  England  to  Gascoigne  and  Guienne, 
which  he  attempted  to  do  this  last  vintage;  so  as  he  is  now 
become  as  a  frontier  enemy  to  all  the  west  of  England,  as  well 
as  all  the  south  parts,  as  Sussex,  Hampshire,  and  the  Isle  of 
Wight.  Yea,  by  means  of  his  interest  in  St.  Maloes,  a  port  full  of 
shipping  for  the  war,  he  is  a  dangerous  neighbor  to  the  Queen's 
isles  of  Jersey  and  Guernsey,  ancient  possessions  of  this  crown, 
and  never  conquered  in  the  greatest  wars  with  France. » 

The  ascendency  which  Spain  then  had  in  Europe  was  in 
one  sense  well  deserved.  It  was  an  ascendency  which  had  been 
gained  by  unquestioned  superiority  in  all  the  arts  of  policy  and 
of  war.  In  the  sixteenth  century,  Italy  was  not  more  decidedly 
the  land  of  the  fine  arts,  Germany  was  not  more  decidedly  the 
land  of  bold  theological  speculation,  than  Spain  was  the  land 
of  statesmen  and  of  soldiers.  The  character  which  Virgil  has 
ascribed  to  his  countrymen  might  have  been  claimed  by  the 
grave  and  haughty  chiefs  who  surrounded  the  throne  of  Ferdi- 
nand the  Catholic,  and  of  his  immediate  successors.  That  majes- 
tic art,  "regere  imperio  populos,"  was  not  better  understood 
by  the  Romans  in  the  proudest  days  of  their  republic  than 
by  Gonsalvo  and  Ximenes,  Cortez  and  Alva.  The  skill  of  the 
Spanish  diplomatists  was  renowned  throughout  Europe.  In  Eng- 
land the  name  of  Gondomar  is  still  remembered.  The  sovereign 
nation  was  unrivaled  both  in  regular  and  irregular  warfare. 
The  impetuous  chivalry  of  France,  the  serried  phalanx  of  Switz- 
erland, were  alike  found  wanting  when  brought  face  to  face  with 
the  Spanish  infantry.  In  the  wars  of  the  New  World,  where 
something  different  from  ordinary  strategy  was  required  in  the 
general  and  something  different  from  ordinary  discipline  in  the 
soldier,  where  it  was  every  day  necessary  to  meet  by  some  new 
expedient  the  varying  tactics  of  a  barbarous  enemy,  the  Spanish 
adventurers,  sprung  from  the  common  people,  displayed  a  fertility 
of  resource,  and  a  talent  for  negotiation  and  command,  to  which 
history  scarcely  affords  a  parallel. 

The  Castilian  of  those  times  was  to  the  Italian  what  the  Ro- 
man, in  the  days  of  the  greatness  of  Rome,  was  to  the  Greek. 
The  conqueror  had  less  ingenuity,  less  taste,  less  delicacy  of 
perception,  than  the  conquered;  but  far  more  pride,  firmness,  and 


1 


THOMAS   BABINGTON   MACAULAY  9405 

courage,  a  more  solemn  demeanor,  a  stronger  sense  of  honor. 
The  subject  had  more  subtlety  in  speculation,  the  ruler  more 
energy  in  action.  The  vices  of  the  former  were  those  of  a 
coward;  the  vices  of  the  latter  were  those  of  a  tyrant.  It  may 
be  added,  that  the  Spaniard,  like  the  Roman,  did  not  disdain  to 
study  the  arts  and  the  language  of  those  whom  he  oppressed.  A 
revolution  took  place  in  the  literature  of  Spain,  not  unlike  that 
revolution  which,  as  Horace  tells  us,  took  place  in  the  poetry  of 
Latium:  <(  Capta  ferum  victorem  cepit.):>  The  slave  took  prisoner 
the  enslaver.  The  old  Castilian  ballads  gave  place  to  sonnets 
in  the  style  of  Petrarch,  and  to  heroic  poems  in  the  stanza  of 
Ariosto,  as  the  national  songs  of  Rome  were  driven  out  by  imi- 
tations of  Theocritus  and  translations  from  Menander. 

In  no  modern  society,  not  even  in  England  during  the  reign 
of  Elizabeth,  has  there  been  so  great  a  number  of  men  eminent 
at  once  in  literature  and  in  the  pursuits  of  active  life,  as  Spain 
produced  during  the  sixteenth  century.  Almost  every  distin- 
guished writer  was  also  distinguished  as  a  soldier  and  a  politi- 
cian. Boscan  bore  arms  with  high  reputation.  Garcilaso  de  Vega, 
the  author  of  the  sweetest  and  most  graceful  pastoral  poem  of 
modern  times,  after  a  short  but  splendid  military  career,  fell 
sword  in  hand  at  the  head  of  a  storming  party.  Alonzo  de 
Ercilla  bore  a  conspicuous  part  in  that  war  of  Arauco  which  he 
afterwards  celebrated  in  one  of  the  best  heroic  poems  that  Spain 
has  produced.  Hurtado  de  Mendoza,  whose  poems  have  been 
compared  to  those  of  Horace,  and  whose  charming  little  novel  is 
evidently  the  model  of  Gil  Bias,  has  been  handed  down  to  us  by 
history  as  one  of  the  sternest  of  those  iron  proconsuls  who  were 
employed  by  the  House  of  Austria  to  crush  the  lingering  pub- 
lic spirit  of  Italy.  Lope  sailed  in  the  Armada;  Cervantes  was 
wounded  at  Lepanto. 

It  is  curious  to  consider  with  how  much  awe  our  ancestors  in 
those  times  regarded  a  Spaniard.  He  was  in  their  apprehension 
a  kind  of  daemon;  horribly  malevolent,  but  withal  most  sagacious 
and  powerful.  (<  They  be  verye  wyse  and  politicke,^  says  an 
honest  Englishman,  in  a  memorial  addressed  to -Mary,  <(and  can> 
thorowe  ther  wysdome,  reform  and  brydell  theyr  owne  natures 
for  a  tyme,  and  applye  their  conditions  to  the  manners  of  those 
men  with  whom  they  meddell  gladlye  by  friendshippe :  whose 
mischievous  manners  a  man  shall  never  knowe  untyll  he  come 
under  ther  subjection:  but  then  shall  he  parfectlye  parceyve  and 


9406 


THOMAS  BABINGTON   MACAULAY 


fele  them;  which  thynge  I  praye  God  England  never  do:  for 
in  dissimulations  tin tyll  they  have  ther  purposes,  and  afterwards 
in  oppression  and  tyrannye  when  they  can  obtayne  them,  they 
do  exceed  all  other  nations  upon  the  earthe. >}  This  is  just  such 
language  as  Arminius  would  have  used  about  the  Romans,  or  as 
an  Indian  statesman  of  our  times  might  use  about  the  English. 
It  is  the  language  of  a  man  burning  with  hatred,  but  cowed  by 
those  whom  he  hates;  and  painfully  sensible  of  their  superiority, 
not  only  in  power,  but  in  intelligence. 


THE   CHARACTER  OF   CHARLES   II.   OF   ENGLAND 
From  the  Essay  on  Mackintosh's  <  History  of  the  Revolution  in  England  > 

SUCH  was  England  in  1660.  In  1678  the  whole  face  of  things 
had  changed.  At  the  former  of  those  epochs  eighteen  years 
of  commotion  had  made  the  majority  of  the  people  ready  to 
buy  repose  at  any  price.  At  the  latter  epoch  eighteen  years  of 
misgovernment  had  made  the  same  majority  desirous  to  obtain 
security  for  their  liberties  at  any  risk.  The  fury  of  their  return- 
ing loyalty  had  spent  itself  in  its  first  outbreak.  In  a  very  few 
months  they  had  hanged  and  half -hanged,  quartered  and  embow- 
eled, enough  to  satisfy  them.  The  Roundhead  party  seemed  to 
be  not  merely  overcome,  but  too  much  broken  and  scattered  ever 
to  rally  again.  Then  -commenced  the  reflux  of  public  opinion. 
The  nation  began  to  find  out  to  what  a  man  it  had  intrusted 
without  conditions  all  its  dearest  interests,  on  what  a  man  it  had 
lavished  all  its  fondest  affection. 

On  the  ignoble  nature  of  the  restored  exile,  adversity  had 
exhausted  all  her  discipline  in  vain.  He  had  one  immense 
advantage  over  most  other  princes.  Though  born  in  the  purple, 
he  was  far  better  acquainted  with  the  vicissitudes  of  life  and  the 
diversities  of  character  than  most  of  his  subjects.  He  had  known 
restraint,  danger,  penury,  and  dependence.  He  had  often  suffered 
from  ingratitude,  insolence,  and  treachery.  He  had  received  many 
signal  proofs  of  faithful  and  heroic  attachment.  He  had  seen,  if 
ever  man  saw,  both  sides  of  human  nature.  But  only  one  side 
remained  in  his  memory.  He  had  learned  only  to  despise  and 
to  distrust  his  species;  to  consider  integrity  in  men,  and  modesty 
in  women,  as  mere  acting:  nor  did  he  think  it  worth  while  to 
keep  his  opinion  to  himself.  He  was  incapable  of  friendship;  yet 


THOMAS   BABINGTON   MACAULAY  9407 

he  was  perpetually  led  by  favorites,  without  being  in  the  small- 
est degree  duped  by  them.  He  knew  that  their  regard  to  his 
interests  was  all  simulated;  but  from  a  certain  easiness  which  had 
no  connection  with  humanity,  he  submitted,  half  laughing  at  him- 
self, to  be  made  the  tool  of  any  woman  whose  person  attracted 
him  or  of  any  man  whose  tattle  diverted  him.  He  thought 
little  and  cared  less  about  religion.  He  seems  to  have  passed 
his  life  in  dawdling  suspense  between  Hobbism  and  Popery. 
He  was  crowned  in  his  youth  with  the  Covenant  in  his  hand; 
he  died  at  last  with  the  Host  sticking  in  his  throat;  and  dur- 
ing most  of  the  intermediate  years  was  occupied  in  persecuting 
both  Covenanters  and  Catholics.  He  was  not  a  tyrant  from 
the  ordinary  motiveSo  He  valued  power  for  its  own  sake  little, 
and  fame  still  less.  He  does  not  appear  to  have  been  vindictive, 
or  to  have  found  any  pleasing  excitement  in  cruelty.  What  he 
wanted  was  to  be  amused,  to  get  through  the  twenty-four  hours 
pleasantly  without  sitting  down  to  dry  business.  Sauntering 
was,  as  Sheffield  expresses  it,  the-  true  Sultana  Queen  of  his 
Majesty's  affections.  A  sitting  in  council  would  have  been  insup- 
portable to  him  if  the  Duke  of  Buckingham  had  not  been  there 
to  make  mouths  at  the  Chancellor.  It  has  been  said,  and  is 
highly  probable,  that  in  his  exile  he  was  quite  disposed  to  sell 
his  rights  to  Cromwell  for  a  good  round  sum.  To  the  last,  his 
only  quarrel  with  his  Parliaments  was  that  they  often  gave  him 
trouble  and  would  not  always  give  him  money.  If  there  was  a 
person  for  whom  he  felt  a  real  regard,  that  person  was  his 
brother.  If  there  was  a  point  about  which  he  really  entertained 
a  scruple  of  conscience  or  of  honor,  that  point  was  the  descent 
of  the  crown.  Yet  he  was  willing  to  consent  to  the  Exclusion 
Bill  for  six  hundred  thousand  pounds;  and  the  negotiation  was 
broken  off  only  because  he  insisted  on  being  paid  beforehand. 
To  do  him  justice,  his  temper  was  good;  his  manners  agreeable; 
his  natural  talents  above  mediocrity.  But  he  was  sensual,  frivo- 
lous, false,  and  cold-hearted,  beyond  almost  any  prince  of  whom 
history  makes  mention. 

Under   the    government   of    such   a  man,  the    English   people 
could  not  be  long  in  recovering  from  the  intoxication  of  loyalty. 


9408 


THOMAS  BABINGTON   MACAULAY 

THE  CHURCH   OF  ROME 

From  the  Essay  on  Ranke's  <  History  of  the  Popes  > 


THERE  is  not,  and  there  never  was  on  the  earth,  a  work  of 
human  policy  so  well  deserving  of  examination  as  the 
Roman  Catholic  Church.  The  history  of  that  Church  joins 
together  the  two  great  ages  of  human  civilization.  No  other  in- 
stitution is  left  standing  which  carries  the  mind  back  to  the  times 
when  the  smoke  of  sacrifice  rose  from  the  Pantheon,  and  when 
camelopards  and  tigers  bounded  in  the  Flavian  amphitheatre.  The 
proudest  royal  houses  are  but  of  yesterday,  when  compared  with 
the  line  of  the  Supreme  Pontiffs.  That  line  we  trace  back  in  an 
unbroken  series  from  the  pope  who  crowned  Napoleon  in  the 
nineteenth  century  to  the  pope  who  crowned  Pepin  in  the  eighth; 
and  far  beyond  the  time  of  Pepin  the  august  dynasty  extends,  till 
it  is  lost  in  the  twilight  of  fable.  The  republic  of  Venice  came 
next  in  antiquity.  But  the  republic  of  Venice  was  modern  when 
compared  with  the  Papacy;  and  the  republic  of  Venice  is  gone, 
and  the  Papacy  remains.  The  Papacy  remains,  not  in  decay,  not 
a  mere  antique,  but  full  of  life  and  useful  vigor.  The  Catholic 
Church  is  still  sending  forth  to  the  farthest  ends  of  the  world 
missionaries  as  zealous  as  those  who  landed  in  Kent  with  Augus- 
tin,  and  still  confronting  hostile  kings  with  the  same  spirit  with 
which  she  confronted  Attila.  The  number  of  her  children  is 
greater  than  in  any  former  age.  Her  acquisitions  in  the  New 
World  have  more  than  compensated  for  what  she  has  lost  in  the 
Old.  Her  spiritual  ascendency  extends  over  the  vast  countries 
which  lie  between  the  plains  of  the  Missouri  and  Cape  Horn, 
countries  which,  a  century  hence,  may  not  improbably  contain 
a  population  as  large  as  that  which  now  inhabits  Europe.  The 
members  of  her  communion  are  certainly  not  fewer  than  a  hun- 
dred and  fifty  millions;  and  it  will  be  difficult  to  show  that  all 
other  Christian  sects  united  amount  to  a  hundred  and  twenty 
millions.  Nor  do  we  see  any  sign  which  indicates  that  the  term 
of  her  long  dominion  is  approaching.  She  saw  the  commence- 
ment of  all  the  governments  and  of  all  the  ecclesiastical  estab- 
lishments that  now  exist  in  the  world ;  and  we  feel  no  assurance 
that  she  is  not  destined  to  see  the  end  of  them  all.  She  was 
great  and  respected  before  the  Saxon  had  set  foot  on  Britain, 
before  the  Frank  had  passed  the  Rhine,  when  Grecian  eloquence 
still  flourished  in  Antioch,  when  idcls  were  still  worshiped  in  the 


THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY  9409 

temple  of  Mecca.  And  she  may  still  exist  in  undiminished  vigor 
when  some  traveler  from  New  Zealand  shall,  in  the  midst  of  a 
vast  solitude,  take  his  stand  on  a  broken  arch  of  London  Bridge 
to  sketch  the  ruins  of  St.  Paul's. 

We  often  hear  it  said  that  the  world  is  constantly  becoming 
more  and  more  enlightened,  and  that  this  enlightening  must  be 
favorable  to  Protestantism  and  unfavorable  to  Catholicism.  We 
wish  that  we  could  think  so.  But  we  see  great  reason  to  doubt 
whether  this  be  a  well-founded  expectation.  We  see  that  during 
the  last  two  hundred  and  fifty  years  the  human  mind  has  been 
in  the  highest  degree  active;  that  it  has  made  great  advances  in 
every  branch  of  natural  philosophy;  that  it  has  produced  innu- 
merable inventions  tending  to  promote  the  convenience  of  life; 
that  medicine,  surgery,  chemistry,  engineering,  have  been  very 
greatly  improved;  that  government,  police,  and  law  have  been 
improved,  though  not  to  so  great  an  extent  as  the  physical  sci- 
ences. But  we  see  that  during  these  two  hundred  and  fifty 
years,  Protestantism  has  made  no  conquests  worth  speaking  of. 
Nay,  we  believe  that  as  far  as  there  has  been  a  change,  that 
change  has  on  the  whole  been  in  favor  of  the  Church  of  Rome. 
We  cannot,  therefore,  feel  confident  that  the  progress  of  knowl- 
edge will  necessarily  be  fatal  to  a  system  which  has,  to  say  the 
least,  stood  its  ground  in  spite  of  the  immense  progress  made  by 
the  human  race  in  knowledge  since  the  days  of  Queen  Elizabeth. 

Indeed,  the  argument  which  we  are  considering  seems  to  us 
to  be  founded  on  an  entire  mistake.  There  are  branches  of 
knowledge  with  respect  to  which  the  law  of  the  human  mind 
is  progress.  In  mathematics,  when  once  a  proposition  has  been 
demonstrated,  it  is  never  afterwards  contested.  Every  fresh  story 
is  as  solid  a  basis  for  a  new  superstructure  as  the  original 
foundation  was.  Here,  therefore,  there  is  a  constant  addition  to 
the  stock  of  truth.  In  the  inductive  sciences,  again,  the  law  is 
progress.  Every  day  furnishes  new  facts,  and  thus  brings  theory 
nearer  and  nearer  to  perfection.  There  is  no  chance  that  either 
in  the  purely  demonstrative  or  in  the  purely  experimental  sci- 
ences, the  world  will  ever  go  back  or  even  remain  stationary. 
Nobody  ever  heard  of  a  reaction  against  Taylor's  theorem,  or 
of  a  reaction  against  Harvey's  doctrine  of  the  circulation  of  the 
blood. 

But  with  theology  the  case  is  very  different.  As  respects  nat- 
ural religion, —  revelation  being  for  the  present  altogether  left  ont 


9410  THOMAS  BABINGTON   MACAULAY 

of  the  question, —  it  is  not  easy  to  see  that  a  philosopher  of  the 
present  day  is  more  favorably  situated  than  Thales  or  Simonides. 
He  has  before  him  just  the  same  evidences  of  design  in  the 
structure  of  the  universe  which  the  early  Greek  had.  We  say 
just  the  same;  for  the  discoveries  of  modern  astronomers  and 
anatomists  have  really  added  nothing  to  the  force  of  that  argu- 
ment which  a  reflecting  mind  finds  in  every  beast,  bird,  insect, 
fish,  leaf,  flower,  and  shell.  The  reasoning  by  which  Socrates, 
in  Xenophon's  hearing,  confuted  the  little  atheist  Aristodemus, 
is  exactly  the  reasoning  'of  Paley's  Natural  Theology.  Socrates 
makes  precisely  the  same  use  of  the  statues  of  Polycletus  and  the 
pictures  of  Zeuxis  which  Paley  makes  of  the  watch.  As  to  the 
other  great  question,  the  question  what  becomes  of  man  after 
death,  we  do  not  see  that  a  highly  educated  European,  left  to 
his  unassisted  reason,  is  more  likely  to  be  in  the  right  than  a 
Blackfoot  Indian.  Not  a  single  one  of  the  many  sciences  in 
which  we  surpass  the  Blackfoot  Indians  throws  the  smallest  light 
on  the  state  of  the  soul  after  the  animal  life  is  extinct.  In  truth, 
all  the  philosophers,  ancient  and  modern,  who  have  attempted 
without  the  help  of  revelation  to  prove  the  immortality  of  man, 
from  Plato  down  to  Franklin,  appear  to  us  to  have  failed  de- 
plorably. .  .  . 

Of  the  dealings  of  God  with  man,  no  more  has  been  revealed 
to  the  nineteenth  century  than  to  the  first,  or  to  London  than  to 
the  wildest  parish  in  the  Hebrides.  It  is  true  that  in  those 
things  which  concern  this  life  and  this  world,  man  constantly 
becomes  wiser  and  wiser.  But  it  is  no  less  true  that,  as  respects 
a  higher  power  and  a  future  state,  man,  in  the  language  of 
Goethe's  scoffing  fiend, 

«bleibt  stets  von  gleichem  Schlag, 
Und  ist  so  wunderlich  als  wie  am  ersten  Tag.w* 

The  history  of  Catholicism  strikingly  illustrates  these  observa- 
tions. During  the  last  seven  centuries  the  public  mind  of  Europe 
has  made  constant  progress  in  every  department  of  secular  knowl- 
edge. But  in  religion  we  can  trace  no  constant  progress.  The 
ecclesiastical  history  of  that  long  period  is  a  history  of  movement 
to  and  fro.  Four  times,  since  the  authority  of  the  Church  of 
Rome  was  established  in  Western  Christendom,  has  the  human 

*  « —  remains  always  of  the  same  stamp, 
And  is  as  unaccountable  as  on  the  first  day.» 


THOMAS   BABINGTON   MACAULAY  941 ! 

intellect  •  risen  up  against  her  yoke.  Twice  that  Church  remained 
completely  victorious.  Twice  she  came  forth  from  the  conflict 
bearing  the  marks  of  cruel  wounds,  but  with  the  principle  of  life 
still  strong  within  her.  When  we  reflect  on  the  tremendous 
assaults  which  she  has  survived,  we  find  it  difficult  to  conceive  in 
what  way  she  is  to  perish. 


LOYOLA  AND   THE    JESUITS 
From  the  Essay  on  Ranke's  <  History  of  the  Popes  > 

IT  is  not,  therefore,  strange  that  the  effect  of  the  great  outbreak 
of  Protestantism  in  one  part  of  Christendom  should  have 

been  to  produce  an  equally  violent  outbreak  of  Catholic  zeal 
in  another.  Two  reformations  were  pushed  on  at  once  with 
equal  energy  and  effect:  a  reformation  of  doctrine  in  the  North, 
a  reformation  of  manners  and  discipline  in  the  South.  In  the 
course  of  a  single  generation,  the  whole  spirit  of  the  Church  of 
Rome  underwent  a  change.  From  the  halls  of  the  Vatican  to 
the  most  secluded  hermitage  of  the  Apennines,  the  great  revival 
was  everywhere  felt  and  seen.  All  the  institutions  anciently 
devised  for  the  propagation  and  defense  of  the  faith  were 
furbished  up  and  made  efficient.  Fresh  engines  of  still  more 
formidable  power  were  constructed.  Everywhere  old  religious 
communities  were  remodeled  and  new  religious  communities 
called  into  existence.  Within  a  year  after  the  death  of  Leo,  the 
order  of  Camaldoli  was  purified.  The  Capuchins  restored  the  old 
Franciscan  discipline,  the  midnight  prayer  and  the  life  of  silence. 
The  Barnabites  and  the  society  of  Somasca  devoted  themselves. 
to  the  relief  and  education  of  the  poor.  To  the  Theatine  order 
a  still  higher  interest  belongs.  Its  great  object  was  the  same, 
with  that  of  our  early  Methodists;  namely,  to  supply  the  defi- 
ciencies of  the  parochial  clergy.  The  Church  of  Rome,  wiser  than 
the  Church  of  England,  gave  every  countenance  to  the  good 
work.  The  members  of  the  new  brotherhood  preached  to  great 
multitudes  in  the  streets  and  in  the  fields,  prayed  by  the  beds 
of  the  sick,  and  administered  the  last  sacraments  to  the  dying. 
Foremost  among  them  in  zeal  and  devotion  was  Gian  Pietro 
Caraffa,  afterwards  Pope  Paul  the  Fourth. 

In  the  convent  of  the  Theatines  at  Venice,  under  the  eye 
of  Caraffa,  a  Spanish  gentleman  took  up  his  abode,  tended  the 
poor  in  the  hospitals,  went  about  in  rags,  starved  himself  almost 


94I2  THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY 

to  death,  and  often  sallied  into  the  streets,  mounted  on  stones, 
and  waving  his  hat  to  invite  the  passers-by,  began  to  preach  in 
a  strange  jargon  of  mingled  Castilian  and  Tuscan.  The  Thea* 
tines  were  among  the  most  zealous  and  rigid  of  men:  but  to 
this  enthusiastic  neophyte  their  discipline  seemed  lax,  and  their 
movements  sluggish;  for  his  own  mind,  naturally  passionate  and 
imaginative,  had  passed  through  a  training  which  had  given  to 
all  its  peculiarities  a  morbid  intensity  and  energy.  In  his  early 
life  he  had  been  the  very  prototype  of  the  hero  of  Cervantes. 
The  single  study  of  the  young  Hidalgo  had  been  chivalrous  ro- 
mance; and  his  existence  had  been  one  gorgeous  day-dream  of 
princesses  rescued  and  infidels  subdued.  He  had  chosen  a  Dul- 
cinea,  <(no  countess,  no  duchess, >} — these  are  his  own  words,— 
<(  but  one  of  far  higher  station ; w  and  he  flattered  himself  with 
the  hope  of  laying  at  her  feet  the  keys  of  Moorish  castles  and 
the  jeweled  turbans  of  Asiatic  kings. 

In  the  midst  of  these  visions  of  martial  glory  and  prosper- 
ous love,  a  severe  wound  stretched  him  on  a  bed  of  sickness. 
His  constitution  was  shattered,  and  he  was  doomed  to  be  a  crip- 
ple for  life.  The  palm  of  strength,  grace,  and  skill  in  knightly 
exercises,  was  no  longer  for  him.  He  could  no  longer  hope  to 
strike  down  gigantic  soldans,  or  to  find  favor  in  the  sight  of 
beautiful  women.  A  new  vision  then  arose  in  his  mind,  and 
mingled  itself  with  his  own  delusions  in  a  manner  which  to  most 
Englishmen  must  seem  singular,  but  which  those  who  know  how 
close  was  the  union  between  religion  and  chivalry  in  Spain  will 
be  at  no  loss  to  understand.  He  would  still  be  a  soldier;  he 
would  still  be  a  knight-errant:  but  the  soldier  and  knight-errant 
of  the  spouse  of  Christ.  He  would  smite  the  Great  Red  Dragon. 
He  would  be  the  champion  of  the  Woman  clothed  with  the  Sun. 
He  would  break  the  charm  under  which  false  prophets  held 
the  souls  of  men  in  bondage.  His  restless  spirit  led  him  to  the 
Syrian  deserts  and  to  the  chapel  of  the  Holy  Sepulchre.  Thence 
he  wandered  back  to  the  farthest  West,  and  astonished  the  con- 
vents of  Spain  and  the  schools  of  France  by  his  penances  and 
vigils.  The  same  lively  imagination  which  had  been  employed  in 
picturing  the  tumult  of  unreal  battles  and  the  charms  of  unreal 
queens,  now  peopled  his  solitude  with  saints  and  angels.  The 
Holy  Virgin  descended  to  commune  with  him.  He  saw  the 
Savior  face  to  face  with  the  eye  of  flesh.  Even  those  mysteries 
of  religion  which  are  the  hardest  trial  of  faith  were  in  his  case 
palpable  to  sight.  It  is  difficult  to  relate  without  a  pitying  smile 


THOMAS  BABINGTON   MACAULAY 

that  in  the  sacrifice  of  the  mass,  he  saw  transubstantiation  take 
place;  and  that  as  he  stood  praying  on  the  steps  of  the  Church 
of  St.  Dominic,  he  saw  the  Trinity  in  Unity,  and  wept  aloud 
with  joy  and  wonder.  Such  was  the  celebrated  Ignatius  Loyola, 
who  in  the  great  Catholic  reaction  bore  the  same  part  which 
Luther  bore  in  the  great  Protestant  movement. 

Dissatisfied  with  the  system  of  the  Theatines,  the  enthusiastic 
Spaniard  turned  his  face  towards  Rome.  Poor,  obscure,  without 
a  patron,  without  recommendations,  he  entered  the  city  where 
now  two  princely  temples,  rich  with  painting  and  many-colored 
marble,  commemorate  his  great  services  to  the  Church;  where 
his  form  stands  sculptured  in  massive  silver;  where  his  bones, 
enshrined  amidst  jewels,  are  placed  beneath  the  altar  of  God. 
His  activity  and  zeal  bore  down  all  opposition;  and  under  his 
rule  the  order  of  Jesuits  began  to  exist,  and  grew  rapidly  to 
the  full  measure  of  his  gigantic  powers.  With  what  vehemence, 
with  what  policy,  with  what  exact  discipline,  with  what  dauntless 
courage,  with  what  self-denial,  with  what  forgetfulness  of  the 
dearest  private  ties,  with  what  intense  and  stubborn  devotion  to 
a  single  end,  with  what  unscrupulous  laxity  and  versatility  in  the 
choice  of  means,  the  Jesuits  fought  the  battle  of  their  church, 
is  written  in  every  page  of  the  annals  of  Europe  during  several 
generations.  In  the  Order  of  Jesus  was  concentrated  the  quint- 
essence of  the  Catholic  spirit;  and  the  history  of  the  Order  of 
Jesus  is  the  history  of  the  great  Catholic  reaction.  That  order 
possessed  itself  at  once  of  all  the  strongholds  which  command  the 
public  mind:  of  the  pulpit,  of  the  press,  of  the  confessional,  of 
the  academies.  Wherever  the  Jesuit  preached,  the  church  was 
too  small  for  the  audience.  The  name  of  Jesuit  on  a  title-page 
secured  the  circulation  of  a  book.  It  was  in  the  ears  of  the 
Jesuit  that  the  powerful,  the  noble,  and  the  beautiful  breathed 
the  secret  history  of  their  lives.  It  was  at  the  feet  of  the  Jesuit 
that  the  youth  of  the  higher  and  middle  classes  were  brought 
up  from  childhood  to  manhood,  from  the  first  rudiments  to  the 
courses  of  rhetoric  and  philosophy.  Literature  and  science,  lately 
associated  with  infidelity  or  with  heresy,  now  became  the  allies 
of  orthodoxy. 

Dominant  in  the  South  of  Europe,  the  great  order  soon  went 
forth  conquering  and  to  conquer.  In  spite  of  oceans  and  deserts, 
of  hunger  and  pestilence,  of  spies  and  penal  laws,  of  dungeons 
and  racks,  of  gibbets  and  quartering-blocks,  Jesuits  were  to  be 


THOMAS  BABINGTON   MACAULAY 

found  under  every  disguise  and  in  every  country;  scholars,  phy 
sicians,  merchants,  serving-men;  in  the  hostile  court  of  Sweden, 
in  the  old  manor-house  of  Cheshire,  among  the  hovels  of  Con- 
naught;  arguing,  instructing,  consoling,  stealing  away  the  hearts 
of  the  young,  animating  the  courage  of  the  timid,  holding  up 
the  crucifix  before  the  eyes  of  the  dying.  Nor  was  it  less  their 
office  to  plot  against  the  thrones  and  lives  of  the  apostate  kings, 
to  spread  evil  rumors,  to  raise  tumults,  to  inflame  civil  wars, 
to  arm  the  hand  of  the  assassin.  Inflexible  in  nothing  but  in 
their  fidelity  to  the  Church,  they  were  equally  ready  to  appeal 
in  her  cause  to  the  spirit  of  loyalty  and  to  the  spirit  of  freedom. 
Extreme  doctrines  of  obedience  and  extreme  doctrines  of  liberty; 
the  right  of  rulers  to  misgovern  the  people,  the  right  of  every 
one  of  the  people  to  plunge  his  knife  in  the  heart  of  a  bad  ruler, 
were  inculcated  by  the  same  man,  according  as  he  addressed 
nimself  to  the  subject  of  Philip  or  to  the  subject  of  Elizabeth. 
Some  described  these  divines  as  the  most  rigid,  others  as  the 
most  indulgent  of  spiritual  directors;  and  both  descriptions  were 
correct.  The  truly  devout  listened  with  awe  to  the  high  and 
saintly  morality  of  the  Jesuit.  The  gay  cavalier  who  had  run  his 
rival  through  the  body,  the  frail  beauty  who  had  forgotten  her 
marriage  vow,  found  in  the  Jesuit  an  easy  well-bred  man  of  the 
world,  who  knew  how  to  make  allowance  for  the  little  irregu- 
larities of  people  of  fashion.  The  confessor  was  strict  or  lax, 
according  to  the  temper  of  the  penitent.  The  first  object  was  to 
drive  no  person  out  of  the  pale  of  the  Church.  Since  there  were 
bad  people,  it  was  better  that  they  should  be  bad  Catholics  than 
bad  Protestants.  If  a  person  was  so  unfortunate  as  to  be  a 
bravo,  a  libertine,  or  a  gambler,  that  was  no  reason  for  making 
him  a  heretic  too. 

The  Old  World  was  not  wide  enough  for  this  strange  activ- 
ity. The  Jesuits  invaded  all  the  countries  which  the  great  mari- 
time discoveries  of  the  preceding  age  had  laid  open  to  European 
enterprise.  They  were  to  be  found  in  the  depths  of  the  Peru- 
vian mines,  at  the  marts  of  the  African  slave-caravans,  on  the 
shores  of  the  Spice  Islands,  in  the  observatories  of  China.  They 
made  converts  in  regions  which  neither  avarice  nor  curiosity  had 
tempted  any  of  their  countrymen  to  enter;  and  preached  and  dis- 
puted in  tongues  of  which  no  other  native  of  the  West  understood 
a  word. 

• 


THOMAS  BABINGTON   MACAULAY  94!  5 

THE   REIGN   OF  TERROR 

From  the  Essay  on  <Barere> 

No  GREAT  party  can  be  composed  of  such  materials  as  these 
[disinterested  enthusiasts].  It  is  the  inevitable  law  that 
such  zealots  as  we  have  described  shall  collect  around  them 
a  multitude  of  slaves,  of  cowards,  and  of  libertines,  whose  savage 
tempers  and  licentious  appetites,  withheld  only  by  the  dread  of 
Jaw  and  magistracy  from  the  worst  excesses,  are  called  into  full 
activity  by  the  hope  of  impunity.  A  faction  which,  from  what- 
ever motive,  relaxes  the  great  laws  of  morality,  is  certain  to  be 
joined  by  the  most  immoral  part  of  the  community.  This  has 
been  repeatedly  proved  in  religious  wars.  The  war  of  the  Holy 
Sepulchre,  the  Albigensian  war,  the  Huguenot  war,  the  Thirty 
Years'  war,  all  originated  in  pious  zeal.  That  zeal  inflamed  the 
champions  of  the  Church  to  such  a  point  that  they  regarded  all 
generosity  to  the  vanquished  as  a  sinful  weakness.  The  infidel, 
the  heretic,  was  to  be  run  down  like  a  mad  dog.  No  outrage 
committed  by  the  Catholic  warrior  on  the  miscreant  enemy  could 
deserve  punishment,,  As  soon  as  it  was  known  that  boundless 
license  was  thus  given  to  barbarity  and  dissoluteness,  thousands 
of  wretches  who  cared  nothing  for  the  sacred  cause,  but  who 
were  eager  to  be  exempted  from  the  police  of  peaceful  cities  and 
the  discipline  of  well-governed  camps,  flocked  to  the  standard  of 
the  faith.  The  men  who  had  set  up  that  standard  were  sincere, 
chaste,  regardless  of  lucre,  and  perhaps,  where  only  themselves 
were  concerned,  not  unforgiving;  but  round  that  standard  were 
assembled  such  gangs  of  rogues,  ravishers,  plunderers,  and  fero- 
cious bravoes,  as  were  scarcely  ever  found  under  the  flag  of  any 
State  engaged  in  a  mere  temporal  quarrel.  In  a  very  similar 
way  was  the  Jacobin  party  composed.  There  was  a  small  nucleus 
of  enthusiasts;  round  that  nucleus  was  gathered  a  vast  mass 
of  ignoble  depravity;  and  in  all  that  mass  there  was  nothing  so 
depraved  and  so  ignoble  as  Barere. 

Then  came  those  days  when  the  most  barbarous  of  all 
codes  was  administered  by  the  most  barbarous  of  all  tribunals; 
when  no  man  could  greet  his  neighbors,  or  say  his  prayers,  or 
dress  his  hair,  without  danger  of  committing  a  capital  crime; 
when  spies  lurked  in  every  corner;  when  the  guillotine  was  long 
and  hard  at  work  every  morning;  when  the  jails  were  filled  as 


9416 


THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY 


close  as  the  hold  of  a  slave-ship;  when  the  gutters  ran  foaming 
with  blood  into  the  Seine;  when  it  was  death  to  be  great-niece 
of  a  captain  of  the  royal  guards,  or  half-brother  of  a  doctor  of 
the  Sorbonne,  to  express  a  doubt  whether  assignats  would  not 
fall,  to  hint  that  the  English  had  been  victorious  in  the  action 
of  the  first  of  June,  to  have  a  copy  of  one  of  Burke's  pamphlets 
locked  up  in  a  desk,  to  laugh  at  a  Jacobin  for  taking  the  name 
of  Cassius  or  Timoleon,  or  to  call  the  Fifth  Sans-culottide  by  its 
old  superstitious  name  of  St.  Matthew's  Day.  While  the  daily 
wagon-loads  of  victims  were  carried  to  their  doom  through  the 
streets  of  Paris,  the  proconsuls  whom  the  sovereign  committee 
had  sent  forth  to  the  departments  reveled  in  an  extravagance  of 
cruelty  unknown  even  in  the  capital.  The  knife  of  the  deadly 
machine  rose  and  fell  too  slow  for  their  work  of  slaughter.  Long 
rows  of  captives  were  mowed  down  with  grape-shot.  Holes  were 
made  in  the  bottom  of  crowded  barges.  Lyons  was  turned  into 
a  desert.  At  Arras  even  the  cruel  mercy  of  a  speedy  death  was 
denied  to  the  prisoners.  All  down  the  Loire,  from  Saumur  to 
the  sea,  great  flocks  of  crows  and  kites  feasted  on  naked  corpses, 
twined  together  in  hideous  embraces.  No  mercy  was  shown  to 
sex  or  age.  The  number  of  young  lads  and  of  girls  of  seven- 
teen who  were  murdered  by  that  execrable  government  is  to  be 
reckoned  by  hundreds.  Babies  torn  from  the  breast  were  tossed 
from  pike  to  pike  along  the  Jacobin  ranks.  One  champion  of 
liberty  had  his  pockets  well  stuffed  with  ears.  Another  swag- 
gered about  with  the  finger  of  a  little  child  in  his  hat.  A  few 
months  had  sufficed  to  degrade  France  below  the  level  of  New 
Zealand. 

It  is  absurd  to  say  that  "any  amount  of  public  danger  can 
justify  a  system  like  this,  we  do  not  say  on  Christian  principles, 
we  do  not  say  on  the  principles  of  a  high  morality,  but  even  on 
principles  of  Machiavellian  policy.  It  is  true  that  great  emer- 
gencies call  for  activity  and  vigilance;  it  is  true  that  they  justify 
severity  which,  in  ordinary  times,  would  deserve  the  name  of 
cruelty.  But  indiscriminate  severity  can  never,  under  any  cir- 
cumstances, be  useful.  It  is  plain  that  the  whole  efficacy  of 
punishment  depends  on  the  care  with  which  the  guilty  are  dis- 
tinguished. Punishment  which  strikes  the  guilty  and  the  innocent 
promiscuously  operates  merely  like  a  pestilence  or  a  great  con- 
vulsion of  nature,  and  has  no  more  tendency  to  prevent  offenses 
than  the  cholera,  or  an  earthquake  like  that  of  Lisbon,  would 


THOMAS  BABINGTON   MACAULAY 

have.  The  energy  for  which  the  Jacobin  administration  is  praised 
was  merely  the  energy  of  the  Malay  who  maddens  himself  with 
opium,  draws  his  knife,  and  runs  a-muck  through  the  streets, 
slashing  right  and  left  at  friends  and  foes.  Such  has  never  been 
the  energy  of  truly  great  rulers;  of  Elizabeth,  for  example,  of 
Oliver,  or  of  Frederick.  They  were  not,  indeed,  scrupulous.  But 
had  they  been  less  scrupulous  than  they  were,  the  strength  and 
amplitude  of  their  minds  would  have  preserved  them  from  crimes 
such  as  those  which  the  small  men  of  the  Committee  of  Public 
Safety  took  for  daring  strokes  of  policy.  The  great  Queen  who 
so  long  held  her  own  against  foreign  and  domestic  enemies, 
against  temporal  and  spiritual  arms;  the  great  Protector  who  gov- 
erned with  more  than  regal  power,  in  despite  both  of  royalists 
and  republicans;  the  great  King  who,  with  a  beaten  army  and 
an  exhausted  treasury,  defended  his  little  dominions  to  the  last 
against  the  united  efforts  of  Russia,  Austria,  and  France, —  with 
what  scorn  would  they  have  heard  that  it  was  impossible  for 
them  to  strike  a  salutary  terror  into  the  disaffected  without  send- 
ing schoolboys  and  schoolgirls  to  death  by  cart-loads  and  boat- 
loads ! 

The  popular  notion  is,  we  believe,  that  the  leading  Terrorists 
were  wicked  men,  but  at  the  same  time  great  men.  We  can  see 
nothing  great  about  them  but  their  wickedness.  That  their  policy 
was  daringly  original  is  a  vulgar  error.  Their  policy  is  as  old 
as  the  oldest  accounts  which  we  have  of  human  misgovernment. 
It  seemed  new  in  France  and  in  the  eighteenth  century  only 
because  it  had  been  long  disused,  for  excellent  reasons,  by  the 
enlightened  part  of  mankind.  But  it  has  always  prevailed,  and 
still  prevails,  in  savage  and  half-savage  nations,  and  is  the  chief 
cause  which  prevents  such  nations  from  making  advances  towards 
civilization.  Thousands  of  deys,  of  beys,  of  pachas,  of  rajahs,  of 
nabobs,  have  shown  themselves  as  great  masters  of  statecraft  as 
the  members  of  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety.  Djezzar,  we 
imagine,  was  superior  to  any  of  them  in  their  new  line.  In  fact, 
there  is  not  a  petty  tyrant  in  Asia  or  Africa  so  dull  or  so  un- 
learned as  not  to  be  fully  qualified  for  the  business  of  Jacobin 
police  and  Jacobin  finance.  To  behead  people  by  scores  without 
caring  whether  they  are  guilty  or  innocent,  to  wring  money 
out  of  the  rich  by  the  help  of  jailers  and  executioners;  to  rob 
the  public  creditor,  and  to  put  him  to  death  if  he  remonstrates; 
to  take  loaves  by  force  out  of  the  bakers'  shops;  to  clothe  and 


THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY 

mount  soldiers  by  seizing  on  one  man's  wool  and  linen,  and  on 
another  man's  horses  and  saddles,  without  compensation, —  is  of 
all  modes  of  governing  the  simplest  and  most  obvious.  Of  its 
morality  we  at  present  say  nothing.  But  surely  it  requires  no 
capacity  beyond  that  of  a  barbarian  or  a  child. 

By  means  like  those  which  we  have  described,  the  Commit- 
tee of  Public  Safety  undoubtedly  succeeded,  for  a  short  time,  in 
enforcing  profound  submission  and  in  raising  immense  funds. 
But  to  enforce  submission  by  butchery,  and  to  raise  funds  by  spo- 
liation, is  not  statesmanship.  The  real  statesman  is  he  who, 
in  troubled  times,  keeps  down  the  turbulent  without  unnecessa- 
rily harassing  the  well-affected;  and  who,  when  great  pecuniary 
resources  are  needed,  provides  for  the  public  exigencies  without 
violating  the  security  of  property  and  drying  up  the  sources  of 
future  prosperity.  Such  a  statesman,  we  are  confident,  might  in 
1793  have  preserved  the  independence  of  France  without  shed- 
ding a  drop  of  innocent  blood,  without  plundering  a  single  ware- 
house. Unhappily,  the  republic  was  subject  to  men  who  were 
mere  demagogues  and  in  no  sense  statesmen.  They  could  declaim 
at  a  club.  They  could  lead  a  rabble  to  mischief.  But  they  had 
no  skill  to  conduct  the  affairs  of  an  empire.  The  want  of  skill 
they  supplied  for  a  time  by  atrocity  and  blind  violence.  For 
legislative  ability,  fiscal  ability,  military  ability,  diplomatic  ability, 
they  had  one  substitute, —  the  guillotine.  Indeed,  their  exceeding 
ignorance  and  the  barrenness  of  their  invention  are  the  best 
excuse  for  their  murders  and  robberies.  We  really  believe  that 
they  would  not  have  cut  so  many  throats  and  picked  so  many 
pockets,  if  they  had  known  how  to  govern  in  any  other  way. 

That  under  their  administration  the  war  against  the  European 
coalition  was  successfully  conducted,  is  true.  But  that  war  had 
been  successfully  conducted  before  their  elevation,  and  continued 
to  be  successfully  conducted  after  their  fall.  Terror  was  not  the 
order  of  the  day  when  Brussels  opened  its  gates  to  Dumourier. 
Terror  had  ceased  to  be  the  order  of  the  day  when  Piedmont 
and  Lombardy  were  conquered  by  Bonaparte.  The  truth  is,  that 
France  was  saved,  not  by  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety,  but  by 
the  energy,  patriotism,  and  valor  of  the  French  people.  Those 
high  qualities  were  victorious  in  spite  of  the  incapacity  of  rulers 
whose  administration  was  a  tissue,  not  merely  of  crimes,  but  of 
blunders. 


THOMAS   BABINGTON   MACAULAY 


9419 


THE   TRIAL  OF  WARREN   HASTINGS 
From  the  Essay  on  Gleig's  <  Memoirs  of  Warren  Hastings  > 

IN  THE  mean  time,  the  preparations  for  the  trial  had  proceeded 
rapidly;  and  on  the  thirteenth  of  February,  1788, 'the  sittings 
of  the  Court  commenced.  There  have  been  spectacles  more 
dazzling  to  the  eye,  more  gorgeous  with  jewelry  and  cloth  of 
gold,  more  attractive  to  grown-up  children,  than  that  which  was 
then  exhibited  at  Westminster;  but  perhaps  there  never  was  a 
spectacle  so  well  calculated  to  strike  a  highly  cultivated,  a  reflect- 
ing, an  imaginative  mind.  All  the  various  kinds  of  interest  which 
belong  to  the  near  and  to  the  distant,  to  the  present  and  to  the 
past,  were  collected  on  one  spot  and  in  one  hour.  All  the  talents 
and  all  the  accomplishments  which  are  developed  by  liberty  and 
civilization  were  now  displayed,  with  every  advantage  that  could 
be  derived  both  from  co-operation  and  from  contrast.  Every  step 
in  the  proceedings  carried  the  mind  either  backward,  through 
many  troubled  centuries,  to  the  days  when  the  foundations  of 
our  constitution  were  laid;  or  far  away,  over  boundless  seas  and 
deserts,  to  dusky  nations  living  under  strange  stars,  worshiping 
strange  gods,  and  writing  strange  characters  from  right  to  left, 
The  High  Court  of  Parliament  was  to  sit,  according  to  forms 
handed  down  from  the  days  of  the  Plantagenets,  on  an  English- 
man accused  of  exercising  tyranny  over  the  lord  of  the  holy  city 
of  Benares,  and  over  the  ladies  of  the  princely  house  of  Oude. 

The  place  was  worthy  of  such  a  trial.  It  was  the  great  hall 
of  William  Rufus,  the  hall  which  had  resounded  with  acclamations 
at  the  inauguration  of  thirty  kings,  the  hall  which  had  witnessed 
the  just  sentence  of  Bacon  and  the  just  absolution  of  Somers, 
the  hall  where  the  eloquence  of  Stafford  had  for  a  moment  awed 
and  melted  a  victorious  party  inflamed  with  just  resentment,  the 
hall  where  Charles  had  confronted  the  High  Court  of  Justice 
with  the  placid  courage  which  has  half  redeemed  his  fame. 
Neither  military  nor  civil  pomp  was  wanting.  The  avenues  were 
lined  with  grenadiers.  The  streets  were  kept  clear  by  cavalry. 
The  peers,  robed  in  gold  and  ermine,  were  marshaled  by  the 
heralds  under  Garter  King-at-arms.  The  judges  in  their  vest- 
ments of  state  attended  to  give  advice  on  points  of  law.  Near  a 
hundred  and  seventy  lords,  three-fourths  of  the  Upper  House  as 
the  Upper  House  then  was,  walked  in  solemn  order  from  their 


p420  THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY 

usual  place  of  assembling  to  the  tribunal.  The  junior  baron 
present  led  the  way, —  George  Elliot,  Lord  Heathfield,  recently 
ennobled  for  his  memorable  defense  of  Gibraltar  against  the  fleets 
and  armies  of  France  and  Spain.  The  long  procession  was  closed 
by  the  Duke  of  Norfolk,  Earl  Marshal  of  the  realm,  by  the  great 
dignitaries,  and  by  the  brothers  and  sons  of  the  King.  Last  of 
all  came  the  Prince  of  Wales,  conspicuous  by  his  fine  person  and 
noble  bearing.  The  gray  old  walls  were  hung  with  scarlet.  The 
long  galleries  were  crowded  by  an  audience  such  as  has  rarely 
excited  the  fears  or  the  emulations  of  an  orator.  There  were 
gathered  together,  from  all  parts  of  a  great,  free,  enlightened,  and 
prosperous  empire,  grace  and  female  loveliness,  wit  and  learning, 
the  representatives  of  every  science  and  of  every  art.  There 
were  seated  round  the  Queen  the  fair-haired  young  daughters  of 
the  House  of  Brunswick.  There  the  ambassadors  of  great  kings 
and  commonwealths  gazed  with  admiration  on  a  spectacle  which 
no  other  country  in  the  world  could  present.  There  Siddons,  in 
the  prime  of  her  majestic  beauty,  looked  with  emotion  on  a  scene 
surpassing  all  the  imitations  of  the  stage.  There  the  historian  of 
the  Roman  Empire  thought  of  the  days  when  Cicero  pleaded  the 
cause  of  Sicily  against  Verres,  and  when,  before  a  Senate  which 
still  retained  some  show  of  freedom,  Tacitus  thundered  against 
the  oppressor  of  Africa.  There  were  seen  side  by  side  the  great- 
est painter  and  the  greatest  scholar  of  the  age.  The  spectacle 
had  allured  Reynolds  from  that  easel  which  has  preserved  to  us 
the  thoughtful  foreheads  of  so  many  writers  and  statesmen,  and 
the  sweet  smiles  of  so  many  noble  matrons.  It  had  induced 
Parr  to  suspend  his  labors  in  that  dark  and  profound  mine  from 
which  he  had  extracted  a  vast  treasure  of  erudition;  a  treasure 
too  often  buried  in  the  earth,  too  often  paraded  with  injudicious 
and  inelegant  ostentation,  but  still  precious,  massive,  and  splen- 
did. There  appeared  the  voluptuous  charms  of  her  to  whom  the 
heir  of  the  throne  had  in  secret  plighted  his  faith.  There  too 
was  she,  the  beautiful  mother  of  a  beautiful  race,  the  St.  Cecilia 
whose  delicate  features,  lighted  up  by  love  and  music,  art  has 
rescued  from  the  common  decay.  There  were  the  members  of 
that  brilliant  society  which  quoted,  criticized,  and  exchanged  rep- 
artees, under  the  rich  peacock  hangings  of  Mrs.  Montague.  And 
there  the  ladies  whose  lips,  more  persuasive  than  those  of  Fox 
himself,  had  carried  the  Westminster  election  against  palace  and 
treasury,  shone  around  Georgiana,  Duchess  of  Devonshire. 


THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY  9421 

The  Serjeants  made  proclamation.  Hastings  advanced  to  the 
bar,  and  bent  his  knee.  The  culprit  was  indeed  not  unworthy  of 
that  great  presence.  He  had  ruled  an  extensive  and  populous 
country,  had  made  laws. and  treaties,  had  sent  forth  armies,  had 
set  up  and  pulled  down  princes.  And  in  his  high  place  he  had 
so  borne  himself  that  all  had  feared  him,  that  most  had  loved 
him,  and  that  hatred  itself  could  deny  him  no  title  to  glory 
except  virtue.  He  looked  like  a  great  man,  and  not  like  a  bad 
man.  A  person  small  and  emaciated,  yet  deriving  dignity  from  a 
carriage  which  while  it  indicated  deference  to  the  court,  indicated 
also  habitual  self-possession  and  self-respect,  a  high  and  intellect- 
ual forehead,  a  brow  pensive  but  not  gloomy,  a  mouth  of  inflex- 
ible decision,  a  face  pale  and  worn  but  serene,  on  which  was 
written,  as  legibly  as  under  the  picture  in  the  council  chamber  at 
Calcutta,  Mens  <zqua  in  arduis:  such  was  the  aspect  with  which 
the  great  proconsul  presented  himself  to  his  judges. 

His  counsel  accompanied  him, —  men  all  of  whom  were  after-, 
wards  raised  by  their  talents  and  learning  to  the  highest  posts  in 
their  profession:  the  bold  and  strong-minded  Law,  afterwards 
Chief  Justice  of  the  King's  Bench;  the  more  humane  and  elo- 
quent Dallas,  afterwards  Chief  Justice  of  the  Common  Pleas;  and 
Plomer,  who  near  twenty  years  later  successfully  conducted  in 
the  same  high  court  the  defense  of  Lord  Melville,  and  subse- 
quently became  Vice-Chancellor  and  Master  of  the  Rolls. 

But  neither  the'  culprit  nor  his  advocates  attracted  so  much 
notice  as  the  accusers.  In  the  midst  of  the  blaze  of  red  drapery, 
a  space  had  been  fitted  up  with  green  benches  and  tables  for  the 
Commons.  The  managers,  with  Burke  at  their  head,  appeared  in 
full  dress.  The  collectors  of  gossip  did  not  fail  to  remark  that 
even  Fox,  generally  so  regardless  of  his  appearance,  had  paid 
to  the  illustrious  tribunal  the  compliment  of  wearing  a  bag  and 
sword.  Pitt  had  refused  to  be  one  of  the  conductors  of  the 
impeachment;  and  his  commanding,  copious,  and  sonorous  elo- 
quence was  wanting  to  that  great  muster  of  various  talents.  Age 
and  blindness  had  unfitted  Lord  North  for  the  duties  of  a  public 
prosecutor;  and  his  friends  were  left  without  the  help  of  his 
excellent  sense,  his  tact,  and  his  urbanity.  But  in  spite  of  the 
absence  of  these  two  distinguished  members  of  the  lower  House, 
the  box  in  which  the  managers  stood  contained  an  array  of  speak- 
ers such  as  perhaps  had  not  appeared  together  since  the  great 


THOMAS  BABINGTON   MACAULAY 

age  of  Athenian  eloquence.  There  were  Fox  and  Sheridan,  the 
English  Demosthenes  and  the  English  Hyperides,  There  was 
Burke, — ignorant  indeed,  or  negligent,  of  the  art  of  adapting  his 
reasonings  and  his  style  to  the  capacity  and  taste  of  his  hearers, 
but  in  amplitude  of  comprehension  and  richness  of  imagination 
superior  to  every  orator,  ancient  or  modern.  There, '  with  eyes 
reverentially  fixed  on  Burke,  appeared  the  finest  gentleman  of  the 
age,  his  form  developed  by  every  manly  exercise,  his  face  beam- 
ing with  intelligence  and  spirit, —  the  ingenious,  the  chivalrous, 
the  high-souled  Windham.  Nor,  though  surrounded  by  such  men, 
did  the  youngest  manager  pass  unnoticed.  At  an  age  when  most 
of  those  who  distinguish  themselves  in  life  are  still  contending 
for  prizes  and  fellowships  at  college,  he  had  won  for  himself  a 
conspicuous  place  in  Parliament.  No  advantage  of  fortune  or 
connection  was  wanting  that  could  set  off  to  the  height  his  splen- 
did talents  and  his  unblemished  honor.  At  twenty-three  he  had 
been  thought  worthy  to  be  ranked  with  the  veteran  statesmen  who 
appeared  as  the  delegates  of  the  British  Commons,  at  the  bar  of 
the  British  nobility.  All  who  stood  at  that  bar,  save  him  alone, 
are  gone, —  culprit,  advocates,  accusers.  To  the  generation  which  is 
now  in  the  vigor  of  life,  he  is  the  sole  representative  of  a  great 
age  which  has  passed  away.  But  those  who  within  the  last  ten 
years  have  listened  with  delight,  till  the  morning  sun  shone  on 
the  tapestries  of  the  House  of  Lords,  to  the  lofty  and  animated 
eloquence  of  Charles,  Earl  Grey,  are  able  to  'form  some  estimate 
of  the  powers  of  a  race  of  men  among  whom  he  was  not  the 
foremost. 


HORATIUS 
A  LAY  MADE  ABOUT  THE  YEAR  OF  THE  CITY  CCCLX 


LARS   PORSENA    of 
By  the  Nine  Gods  he  swore 
That  the  great  house  of  Tarquin 
Should  suffer  wrong  no  more. 
By  the  Nine  Gods  he  swore  it, 
And  named  a  trysting  day, 

And  bade  his  messengers  ride  forth, 
East  and  west  and  south  and  north. 
To  summon  his  array. 


THOMAS   BABINGTON   MACAULAY  9423 

East  and  west  and  south  and  north 

The  messengers  ride  fast, 
And  tower  and  town  and  cottage 

Have  heard  the  trumpet's  blast. 
Shame  on  the  false  Etruscan 

Who  lingers  in  his  home, 
When  Porsena  of  Clusium 

Is  on  the  march  for  Rome. 

The  horsemen  and  the  footmen 

Are  pouring  in  amain 
From  many  a  stately  market-place, 

From  many  a  fruitful  plain; 
From  many  a  lonely  hamlet, 

Which,  hid  by  beech  and  pine, 
Like  an  eagle's  nest  hangs  on  the  crest 

Of  purple  Apennine; 

From  lordly  Volaterrae, 

Where  scowls  the  far-famed  hold 
Piled  by  the  hands  of  giants 

For  godlike  kings  of  old; 
From  seagirt  Populonia, 

Whose  sentinels  descry 
Sardinia's  snowy  mountain-tops 

Fringing  the  southern  sky; 

From  the  proud  mart  of  Pisee, 

Queen  of  the  western  waves, 
Where  ride  Massilia's  triremes, 

Heavy  with  fair-haired  slaves; 
From  where  sweet  Clanis  wanders 

Through  corn  and  vines  and  flowers; 
From  where  Cortona  lifts  to  heaven 

Her  diadem  of  towers. 

Tall  are  the  oaks  whose  acorns 

Drop  in  dark  Auser's  rill; 
Fat  are  the  stags  that  champ  the  boughs 

Of  the  Ciminian  hill; 
Beyond  all  streams  Clitumnus 

Is  to  the  herdsman  dear; 
Best  of  all  pools  the  fowler  loves 

The  great  Volsinian  mere. 


9424  THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY 

But  now  no  stroke  of  woodman 

Is  heard  by  Auser's  rill; 
No  hunter  tracks  the  stag's  green  path 

Up  the  Ciminian  hill; 
Unwatched  along  Clitumnus 

Grazes  the  milk-white  steer; 
Unharmed  the  water-fowl  may  dip 

In  the  Volsinian  mere. 

The  harvests  of  Arretium, 

This  year,  old  men  shall  reap; 
This  year,  young  boys  in  Umbro 

Shall  plunge  the  struggling  sheep; 
And  in  the  vats  of  Luna, 

This  year,  the  must  shall  foam 
Round  the  white  feet  of  laughing  girls 

Whose  sires  have  marched  to. Rome, 

There  be  thirty  chosen  prophets, 

The  wisest  of  the  land, 
Who  alway  by  Lars  Porsena 

Both  morn  and  evening  stand; 
Evening  and  morn  the  Thirty 

Have  turned  the  verses  o'er, 
Traced  from  the  right  on  linen  white 

By  mighty  seers  of  yore. 

And  with  one  voice  the  Thirty 

Have  their  glad  answer  given: — 
wGo  forth,  go  forth,  Lars  Porsena  j 

Go  forth,  beloved  of  Heaven; 
Go,  and  return  in  glory 

To  Clusium's  royal  dome; 
And  hang  round  Nurscia's  altars 

The  golden  shields  of  Rome.)} 

And  now  hath  every  city 

Sent  up  her  tale  of  men; 
The  foot  are  fourscore  thousand, 

The  horse  are  thousands  ten. 
Before  the  gates  of  Sutrium 

Is  met  the  great  array: 
A  proud  man  was  Lars  Porsena 

Upon  the  trysting  day. 


THOMAS   BABINGTON   MACAULAY  9425 

For  all  the  Etruscan  armies 

Were  ranged  beneath  his  eye 
And  many  a  banished  Roman, 

And  many  a  stout  ally; 
And  with  a  mighty  following 

To  join  the  muster  came 
The  Tusculan  Mamilius, 

Prince  of  the  Latian  name. 

But  by  the  yellow  Tiber 

Was  tumult  and  affright: 
From  all  the  spacious  champaign 

To  Rome  men  took  their  flight. 
A  mile  around  the  city, 

The  throng  stopped  up  the  ways; 
A  fearful  sight  it  was  to  see 

Through  two  long  nights  and  days. 

For  aged  folks  on  crutches, 

And  women  great  with  child, 
And  mothers  sobbing  over  babes 

That  clung  to  them  and  smiled, 
And  sick  men  borne  in  litters 

High  on  the  necks  of  slaves. 
And  troops  of  sunburned  husbandmen 

With  reaping-hooks  and  staves,    . 

And  droves  of  mules  and  asses 

Laden  with  skins  of  wine, 
And  endless  flocks  of  goats  and  sheep, 

And  endless  herds  of  kine, 
And  endless  trains  of  wagons 

That  creaked  beneath  the  weight 
Of  corn  sacks  and  of  household  goods, 

Choked  every  roaring  gate. 

Now,  from  the  rock  Tarpeian, 

Could  the  wan  burghers  spy 
The  line  of  blazing  villages 

Red  in  the  midnight  sky. 
The  Fathers  of  the  City, 

They  sat  all  night  and  day, 
For  every  hour  some  horseman  came 

With  tidings  of  dismay. 


9426  THOMAS  BABINGTON   MACAULAY 

To  eastward  and  to  westward 

Have  spread  the  Tuscan  bands; 
Nor  house,  nor  fence,  nor  dovecote 

In  Crustumerium  stands. 
Verbenna  down  to  Ostia 

Hath  wasted  all  the  plain; 
Astur  hath  stormed  Janiculum, 

And  the  stout  guards  are  slain. 

Iwis,  in  all  the  Senate, 

There  was  no  heart  so  bold, 

But  sore  it  ached  and  fast  it  beat, 
When  that  ill  news  was  told. 

Forthwith  up  rose  the  Consul, 
Up  rose  the  Fathers  all; 

In  haste  they  girded  up  their  gowns, 
And  hied  them  to  the  wall. 

They  held  a  council  standing 

Before  the  River-Gate: 
Short  time  was  there,  ye  well  may  guess, 

For  musing  or  debate. 
Out  spake  the  Consul  roundly:  — 

<(  The  bridge  must  straight  go  down ; 
For  since  Janiculum  is  lost, 

Naught  else  can  save  the  town." 

Just  then  a  scout  came  flying, 

All  wild  with  haste  and  fear:  — 
<(To  arms!   to  arms!   Sir  Consul: 

Lars  Porsena  is  here." 
On  the  low  hills  to  westward 

The  Consul  fixed  his  eye, 
And  saw  the  swarthy  storm   of  dust 

Rise  fast  along  the  sky. 

And  nearer  fast  and  nearer 

Doth  the  red  whirlwind  come; 
And  louder  still  and  still  more  loud, 
From  underneath  that  rolling  cloud, 
Is  heard  the  trumpet's  war-note  proud, 

The  trampling  and  the  hum. 
And  plainly  and  more  plainly 

Now  through  the  gloom  appears, 


THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY  9427 

Far  to  left  and  far  to  right, 
In  broken  gleams  of  dark-blue  light, 
The  long  array  of  helmets  bright, 
The  long  array  of  spears. 

And  plainly  and  more  plainly, 

Above  that  glimmering  line, 
Now  might  ye  see  the  banners 

Of  twelve  fair  cities  shine; 
But  the  banner  of  proud  Clusium 

Was  highest  of  them  all, 
The  terror  of  the  Umbrian, 

The  terror  of  the  Gaul. 

And  plainly  and  more  plainly 

Now  might  the  burghers  know, 
By  port  and  vest,  by  horse  and  crest, 

Each  warlike  Lucumo. 
There  Cilnius  of  Arretium 

On  his  fleet  roan  was  seen; 
And  Astur  of  the  fourfold  shield, 
Girt  with  the  brand  none  else  may  wield, 
Tolumnius  with  the  belt  of  gold, 
And  dark  Verbenna  from  the  hold 

By  reedy  Thrasymene. 

Fast  by  the  royal  standard, 

O'erlooking  all  the  war, 
Lars  Porsena  of  Clusium 

Sat  in  his  ivory  car. 
By  the  right  wheel  rode  Mamilius, 

Prince  of  the  Latian  name; 
And  by  the  left  false  Sextus, 

That  wrought  the  deed  of  shame. 

But  when  the  face  of  Sextus 

Was  seen  among  the  foes, 
A  yell  that  rent  the  firmament 

From  all  the  town  arose. 
On  the  housetops  was  no  woman 

But  spat  towards  him  and  hissed; 
No  child  but  screamed  out  curses, 

And  shook  its  little  fist. 

But  the  Consul's  brow  was  sad, 

And  the  Consul's  speech  was  low. 


THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY 

And  darkly  looked  he  at  the  wall, 

And  darkly  at  the  foe. 
ft  Their  van  will  be  upon  us 

Before  the  bridge  goes  down; 
And  if  they  once  may  win  the  bridge, 

What  hope  to  save  the  town?" 

Then  out  spake  brave  Horatius, 

The  captain  of  the  gate:  — 
«To  every  man  upon  this  earth 

Death  cometh  soon  or  late. 
And  how  can  man  die  better 

Than  facing  fearful  odds, 
For  the  ashes  of  his  fathers, 

And  the  temples  of  his  gods; 

(<And  for  the  tender  mother 

Who  dandled  him  to  rest; 
And  for  the  wife  who  nurses 

His  baby  at  her  breast; 
And  for  the  holy  maidens 

Who  feed  the  eternal  flame, 
To  save  them  from  false  Sextus 

That  wrought  the  deed  of  shame? 

aHew  down  the  bridge,  Sir  Consul, 

With  all  the  speed  ye  may; 
1,  with  two  more  to  help  me, 

Will  hold  the  foe  in  play. 
In  yon  strait  path  a  thousand 

May  well  be  stopped  by  three: 
Now  who  will  stand  on  either  hand, 

And  keep  the  bridge  with  me  ? w 

Then  out  spake  Spurius  Lartius  — 

A  Ramnian  proud  was  he: 
*Lo,  I  will  stand  at  thy  right  hand. 

And  keep  the  bridge  with  thee.° 
And  out  spake  strong  Herminius  — 

Of  Titian  blood  was  he: 
<*I  will  abide  on  thy  left  side, 

And  keep  the  bridge  with  thee." 

*  Horatius, w  quoth  the  Consul, 
<(  As  thou  sayest,  so  let  it  be.w 


THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY  9429 

And  straight  against  that  great  array 

Forth  went  the  dauntless  Three. 
For  Romans  in  Rome's  quarrel 

Spared  neither  land  nor  gold, 
Nor  son  nor  wife,  nor  limb  nor  life, 

In  the  brave  days  of  old. 

Then  none  was  for  a  party; 

Then  all  were  for  the  State; 
Then  the  great  man  helped  the  poor, 

And  the  poor  man  loved  the  great: 
Then  lands  were  fairly  portioned; 

Then  spoils  were  fairly  sold: 
The  Romans  were  like  brothers 

In  the  brave  days  of  old. 

Now  Roman  is  to  Roman 

More  hateful  than  a  foe, 
And  the.  Tribunes  beard  the  high, 

And  the  Fathers  grind  the  low. 
As  we  wax  hot  in  faction, 

In  battle  we  wax  cold; 
Wherefore  men  fight  not  as  they  fought 

In  the  brave  days  of  old. 

Now  while  the  Three  were  tightening 

Their  harness  on  their  backs, 
The  Consul  was  the  foremost  man 

To  take  in  hand  an  axe ; 
And  Fathers  mixed  with  Commons 

Seized  hatchet,  bar,  and  crow, 
And  smote  upon  the  planks  above, 

And  loosed  the  props  below. 

Meanwhile  the  Tuscan  army, 

Right  glorious  to  behold, 
Came  flashing  back  the  noonday  light, 
Rank  behind  rank,  like  surges  bright 

Of  a  broad  sea  of  gold. 
Four  hundred  trumpets  sounded 

A  peal  of  warlike  glee, 
As  that  great  host,  with  measured  tread, 
And  spears  advanced,  and  ensigns  spread, 
Rolled  slowly  towards  the  bridge's  head, 

Where  stood  the  dauntless  Three. 


9430  THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY 

The  Three  stood  calm  and  silent, 

And  looked  upon  the  foes, 
And  a  great  shout  of  laughter 

From  all  the  vanguard  rose: 
And  forth  three  chiefs  came  spurring 

Before  that  deep  array; 

To  earth  they  sprang,  their  swords  they  drew, 
And  lifted  high  their  shields,  and  flew 

To  win  the  narrow  way: 

Aunus  from  green  Tifernum, 

Lord  of  the  Hill  of  Vines; 
And  Seius,  whose  eight  hundred  slaves 

Sicken  in  Ilva's  mines; 
And  Picus,  long  to  Clusium 

Vassal  in  peace  and  war, 
Who  led  to  fight  his  Umbrian  powers 
From  that  gray  crag  where,  girt  with  towers, 
The  fortress  of  Nequinum  lowers 

O'er  the  pale  waves  of  Nar. 

Stout  Lartius  hurled  down  Aunus 

Into  the  stream  beneath; 
Herminius  struck  at  Seius, 

And  clove  him  to  the  teeth; 
At  Picus  brave  Horatius 

Darted  one  fiery  thrust, 
And  the  proud  Umbrian's  gilded  arms 

Clashed  in  the  bloody  dust. 

Then  Ocnus  of  Falerii 

Rushed  on  the  Roman  Three; 
And  Lausulus  of  Urgo, 

The  rover  of  the  sea; 
And  Aruns  of  Volsinium, 

Who  slew  the  great  wild  boar — 
The  great  wild  boar  that  had  his  den 
Amidst  the  reeds  of  Cosa's  fen, 
And  wasted  fields,  and  slaughtered  men, 

Along  Albinia's  shore. 

Herminius  smote  down  Aruns; 

Lartius  laid  Ocnus  low: 
Right  to  the  heart  of  Lausulus 

Horatius  sent  a  blow. 


THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY  943  * 

aLie  there,"  he  cried,  "fell  pirate! 

No  more,  aghast  and  pale, 
From  Ostia's  walls  the  crowd  shall  mark 
The  track  of  thy  destroying  bark. 
No  more  Campania's  hinds  shall  fly 
To  woods  and  caverns  when  they  spy 

Thy  thrice  accursed  sail.® 

But  now  no  sound  of  laughter, 

Was  heard  among  the  foes; 
A  wild  and  wrathful  clamor 

From  all  the  vanguard  rose. 
Six  spears'-lengths  from  the  entrance 

Halted  that  deep  array, 
And  for  a  space  no  man  came  forth 

To  win  the  narrow  way. 

But  hark!   the  cry  is  "Astur!" 

And  lo!   the  ranks  divide; 
And  the  great  Lord  of  Luna 

Comes  with  his  stately  stride. 
Upon  his  ample  shoulders 

Clangs  loud  the  fourfold  shield, 
And  in  his  hand  he  shakes  the  brand 

Which  none  but  he  can  wield. 

He  smiled  on  those  bold  Romans 

A  smile  serene  and  high; 
He  eyed  the  flinching  Tuscans, 

And  scorn  was  in  his  eye. 
Quoth  he,  (<The  she-wolf's  litter 

Stand  savagely  at  bay; 
But  will  ye  dare  to  follow, 

If  Astur  clears  the  way?w 

Then,  whirling  up  his  broadsword 

With  both  hands  to  the  height, 
He  rushed  against  Horatius, 

And  smote  with  all  his  might. 
With  shield  and  blade  Horatius 

Right  deftly  turned  the  blow. 
The  blow,  though  turned,  came  yet  too  nigh: 
It  missed  his  helm,  but  gashed  his  thigh; 
The  Tuscans  raised  a  joyful  cry 

To  see  the  red  blood  flow. 


9432  THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY 

He  reeled,  and  on  Herminius 

He  leaned  one  breathing-space: 
Then,  like  a  wild-cat  mad  with  wounds, 

Sprang  right  at  Astur's  face; 
Through  teeth,  and  skull,  and  helmet, 

So  fierce  a  thrust  he  sped, 
The  good  sword  stood  a  hand-breadth  out 

Behind  the  Tuscan's  head. 

And  the  great  Lord  of  Luna 

Fell  at  that  deadly  stroke, 
As  falls  on  Mount  Alvernus 

A  thunder-smitten  oak. 
Far  o'er  the  crashing  forest 

The  giant  arms  lie  spread; 
And  the  pale  augurs,  muttering  low, 

Gaze  on  the  blasted  head. 

On  Astur's  throat  Horatius 

Right  firmly  pressed  his  heel, 
And  thrice  and  four  times  tugged  amain, 

Ere  he  wrenched  out  the  steel. 
<(And  see,**  he  cried,  (<the  welcome, 

Fair  guests,  that  waits  you  here! 
What  noble  Lucumo  comes  next 

To  taste  our  Roman  cheer  ?w 

But  at  his  haughty  challenge 

A  sullen  murmur  ran, 
Mingled  of  wrath,  and  shame,  and  dread, 

Along  that  glittering  van. 
There  lacked  not  men  of  prowess, 

Nor  men  of  lordly  race; 
For  all  Etruria's  noblest 

Were  round  the  fatal  place. 

But  all  Etruria's  noblest 

Felt  their  hearts  sink  to  see 
On  the  earth  the  bloody  corpses, 

In  the  path  the  dauntless  Three: 
And  from  the  ghastly  entrance 

Where  those  bold  Romans  stood, 
All  shrank,  like  boys  who  unaware, 
Ranging  the  woods  to  start  a  hare, 
Come  to  the  mouth  of  the  dark  lair 


THOMAS   BABINGTON   MACAULAY  9433 

Where,   growling  low,   a  fierce  old  bear 
Lies  amidst  bones  and  blood. 

Was  none  who  would  be  foremost 

To  lead  such  dire  attack; 
But  those  behind  cried  ((  Forward ! » 

And  those  before  cried  «  Back !  » 
And  backward  now  and  forward 

Wavers  the  deep  array; 
And  on  the  tossing  sea  of  steel, 
To  and  fro  the  standards  reel; 
And  the  victorious  trumpet-peal 

Dies  fitfully  away. 

Yet  one  man  for  one  moment 

Stood  out  before  the  crowd; 
Well  known  was  he  to  all  the  Three, 

And  they  gave  him  greeting  loud: — 
<(  Now  welcome,  welcome,   Sextus! 

Now  welcome  to  thy  home ! 
"Why  dost  thou  stay,  and  turn  away? 

Here  lies  the  road  to  Rome." 

Thrice  looked  he  at  the  city; 

Thrice  looked  he  at  the  dead; 
And  thrice  came  on  in  fury, 

And  thrice  turned  back  in  dread; 
And,  white  with  fear  and  hatred, 

Scowled  at  the  narrow  way 
Where,  wallowing  in  a  pool  of  blood, 

The  bravest  Tuscans  lay. 

But  meanwhile  axe  and  lever 

Have  manfully  been  plied; 
And  now  the  bridge  hangs  tottering 

Above  the  boiling  tide. 
<(  Come  back,   come  back,   Horatius !  w 

Loud  cried  the  Fathers  all. 
(<  Back,   Lartius !  back,   Herminius ! 

Back,  ere  the  ruin  fall!" 

Back  darted  Spurius  Lartius; 

Herminius  darted  back: 
And  as  they  passed,   beneath  their  feet 

They  felt  the  timbers  crack. 


9434  THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY 

But  when  they  turned  their  faces, 
And  on  the  farther  shore 

Saw  brave  Horatius  stand  alone, 

They  would  have  crossed  once  more 

But  with  a  crash  like  thunder 

Fell  every  loosened  beam, 
And  like  a  dam,  the  mighty  wreck 

Lay  right  athwart  the  stream: 
And  a  long  shout  of  triumph 

Rose  from  the  walls  of  Rome, 
As  to  the  highest  turret-tops 

Was  splashed  the  yellow  foam. 

And  like  a  horse  unbroken 

When  first  he  feels  the  rein, 
The  furious  river  struggled  hard, 

And  tossed  his  tawny  mane, 
And  burst  the  curb,  and  bounded, 

Rejoicing  to  be  free, 
And  whirling  down,  in  fierce  career, 

Battlement  and  plank  and  pier, 
Rushed  headlong  to  the  sea, 

Alone  stood  brave  Horatius, 

But  constant  still  in  mind; 
Thrice  thirty  thousand  foes  before, 

And  the  broad  flood  behind. 
(<  Down  with  him ! >}  cried  false  Sextus, 

With  a  smile  on  his  pale  face. 
<(Now  yield  thee,"  cried  Lars  Porsena, 

ttNow  yield  thee  to  our  grace. >J 

Round  turned  he,  as  not  deigning 

Those  craven  ranks  to  see; 
Naught  spake  he  to  Lars  Porsena, 

To  Sextus  naught  spake  he: 
But  he  saw  on  Palatinus 

The  white  porch  of  his  home; 
And  he  spake  to  the  noble  river 

That  rolls  by  the  towers  of  Rome. 

«O  Tiber!   father  Tiber! 

To  whom  the  Romans  pray; 
A  Roman's  life,  a  Roman's  arms 

Take  thou  in  charge  this  day!w 


THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY  9435 

So  he  spake,  and  speaking  sheathed 

The  good  sword  by  his  side, 
And  with  his  harness  on  his  back, 

Plunged  headlong  in  the  tide. 

No  sound  of  joy  or  sorrow 

Was  heard  from  either  bank; 
But  friends  and  foes,  in  dumb  surprise, 
With  parted  lips  and  straining  eyes, 

Stood  gazing  where  he  sank; 
And  when  above  the  surges 

They  saw  his  crest  appear, 
All  Rome  sent  forth  a  rapturous  cry, 
And  even  the  ranks  of  Tuscany 

Could  scarce  forbear  to  cheer. 

But  fiercely  ran  the  current, 

Swollen  high  by  months  of  rain: 
And  fast  his  blood  was  flowing; 

And  he  was  sore  in  pain, 
And  heavy  with  his  armor, 

And  spent  with  changing  blows: 
And  oft  they  thought  him  sinking, 

But  still  again  he  rose. 

Never,  I  ween,  did  swimmer, 

In  such  an  evil  case, 
Struggle  through  such  a  raging  flood 

Safe  to  the  landing-place; 
But  his  limbs  were  borne  up  bravely 

By  the  brave  heart  within, 
And  our  good  father  Tiber 

Bore  bravely  up  his  chin. 

"Curse  on  him!"  quoth  false  Sextus; 

(<  Will  not  the  villain  drown  ? 
But  for  this  stay;  ere  close  of  day 

We  should  have  sacked  the  town !  * 
(<  Heaven  help  him ! }>  quoth  Lars  Porsena, 

<(And  bring  him  safe  to  shore; 
For  such  a  gallant  feat  of  arms 

Was  never  seen  before." 

And  now  he  feels  the  bottom; 

Now  on  dry  earth  he  stands; 
Now  round  him  throng  the  Fathers 

To  press  his  gory  hands; 


9436  THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAT 

And  now,  with  shouts  and  clapping, 
And  noise  of  weeping  loud, 

He  enters  through  the  River-Gate, 
Borne  by  the  joyous  crowd. 

They  gave  him  of  the  corn-land, 

That  was  of  public  right, 
As  much  as  two  strong  oxen 

Could  plow  from  morn  till  night; 
And  they  made  a  molten  image, 

And  set  it  up  on  high, 
And  there  it  stands  unto  this  day 

To  witness  if  I  lie. 

It  stands  in  the  Comitium, 

Plain  for  all  folk  to  see, —  • 

Horatius  in  his  harness, 

Halting  upon  one  knee; 
And  underneath  is  written, 

In  letters  all  of  gold, 
How  valiantly  he  kept  the  bridge 

In  the  brave  days  of  old. 

And  still  his  name  sounds  stirring 

Unto  the  men  of  Rome, 
As  the  trumpet-blast  that  cries  to  them 

To  charge  the  Volscian  home; 
And  wives  still  pray  to  Juno 

For  boys  with  hearts  as  bold 
As  his  who  kept  the  bridge  so  well 

In  the  brave  days  of  old. 

And  in  the  nights  of  winter, 

When  the  cold  north  winds  blow, 
And  the  long  howling  of  the  wolves 

Is  heard  amidst  the  snow; 
When  round  the  lonely  cottage 

Roars  loud  the  tempest's  din, 
And  the  good  logs  of  Algidus 

Roar  louder  yet  within; 

When  the  oldest  cask  is  opened, 
And  the  largest  lamp  is  lit; 

When  the  chestnuts  glow  in  the  embers, 
And  the  kid  turns  on  the  spit; 

When  young  and  old  in  circle 
Around  the  firebrands  close; 


THOMAS  BABINGTCJN  MACAULAY  9437 

When  the  girls  are  weaving  baskets, 
And  the  lads  are  shaping  bows; 

When  the  goodman  mends  his  armor, 

And  trims  his  helmet's  plume; 
When  the  goodwife's  shuttle  merrily 

Goes  flashing  through  the  loom; — 
With  weeping  and  with  laughter 

Still  is  the  story  told, 
How  well  Horatius  kept  the  bridge 

In  the  brave  days  of  old. 


THE   BATTLE   OF  IVRY 

[Henry  the  Fourth,  on  his  accession  to  the  French  crown,  was  opposed  by 
a  large  part  of  his  subjects  under  the  Duke  of  Mayenne,  with  the  assistance 
of  Spain  and  Savoy.  In  March  1590  he  gained  a  decisive  victory  over  that 
party  at  Ivry.  Before  the  battle,  he  addressed  his  troops  —  «My  children,  if 
you  lose  sight  of  your  colors,  rally  to  my  white  plume:  you  will  always  find 
it  in  the  path  to  honor  and  glory. w  His  conduct  was  answerable  to  his  prom- 
ise. Nothing  could  resist  his  impetuous  valor,  and  the  Leaguers  underwent  a 
total  and  bloody  defeat.  In  the  midst  of  the  rout,  Henry  followed,  crying, 
«Save  the  French !»  and  his  clemency  added  a  number  of  the  enemies  to  his 
own  army.] 

Now  glory  to  the  Lord  of  Hosts,  from  whom  all  glories  are! 
And  glory  to  our  Sovereign  liege,  King  Henry  of  Navarre! 
Now  let  there  be  the  merry  sound  of  music  and  the  dance, 
Through   thy  cornfields  green    and    sunny   vines,  O   pleasant   land   of 

France ! 

And  thou,  Rochelle,  our  own  Rochelle,  proud  city  of  the  waters, 
Again  let  rapture  light  the  eyes  of  all  thy  mourning  daughters. 
As  thou  wert  constant  in  our  ills,  be  joyous  in  our  joy, 
For  cold,  and  stiff,  and  still  are  they  who  wrought  thy  walls  annoy. 
Hurrah!  hurrah!   a  single  field  hath  turned  the  chance  of  war; 
Hurrah!  hurrah!   for  Ivry,  and  King  Henry  of  Navarre! 

Oh,  how  our  hearts  were  beating,  when,  at  the  dawn  of  day, 
We  saw  the  army  of  the  League  drawn  out  in  long  array, 
With  all  its  priest-led  citizens,  and  all  its  rebel  peers, 
And  Appenzell's  stout  infantry,  and  Egmont's  Flemish  spears. 
There  rode  the  brood  of  false  Lorraine,  the  curses  of  our  land ; 
And  dark  Mayenne  was  in  the  midst,  a  truncheon  in  his  hand: 
And  as  we  looked  on  them,  we  thought  of  Seine's  empurpled  flood, 
And  good  Coligny's  hoary  hair  all  dabbled  with  his  blood; 


9438 


THOMAS   BABINGTON   MACAULAY 


And  we  cried  unto  the  living  God,  who  rules  the  fate  of  war, 
To  fight  for  his  own  holy  name  and  Henry  of  Navarre. 

The  King  is  come  to  marshal  us,  in  all  his  armor  drest, 

And  he  has  bound  a  snow-white  plume  upon  his  gallant  crest; 

He  looked  upon  his  people,  and  a  tear  was  in  his  eye; 

He  looked  upon  the  traitors,  and  his  glance  was  stern  and  high. 

Right  graciously  he  smiled  on  us,  as  rolled  from  wing  to  wing, 

Down  all  our  line,  in  deafening  shout,  <(  God  save  our  lord,  the  King!* 

(<And  if  my  standard-bearer  fall,  as  fall  full  well  he  may, — 

For  never  saw  I  promise  yet  of  such  a  bloody  fray, — 

Press  where  ye  see  my  white  plume  shine,  amidst  the  ranks  of  war. 

And  be  your  oriflamme  to-day  the  helmet  of  Navarre. w 

Hurrah!  the  foes  are  moving.     Hark  to  the  mingled  din 

Of  fife,  and  steed,  and  trump,  and  drum,  and  roaring  culverin! 

The  fiery  Duke  is  pricking  fast  across  St.  Andre's  plain, 

With  all  the  hireling  chivalry  of  Guelders  and  Almayne. 

Now  by  the  lips  of  those  ye  love,  fair  gentlemen  of  France. 

Charge  for  the  golden  lilies  now — upon  them  with  the  lance! 

A  thousand  spurs  are  striking  deep,  a  thousand  spears  in  rest, 

A  thousand  knights  are  pressing  close  behind  the  snow-white  crest; 

And  in  they  burst,  and  on  they  rushed,  while,  like  a  guiding  star, 

Amidst  the  thickest  carnage  blazed  the  helmet  of  Navarre. 

Now,  God  be  praised,  the  day  is  ours !    Mayenne  hath  turned  his  rein , 
D'Aumale  hath  cried  for  quarter;  the  Flemish  Count  is  slain; 
Their  ranks  are  breaking  like,  thin  clouds  before  a  Biscay  gale; 
The  field  is  heaped  with  bleeding  steeds,  and  flags  and  cloven  mail. 
And  then  we  thought  on  vengeance,  and  all  along  our  van, 
« Remember  St.  Bartholomew, »  was  passed  from  man  to  man: 
But  out  spake  gentle  Henry  then,  (<No  Frenchman  is  my  foe; 
Down,  down  with  every  foreigner,  but  let  your  brethren  go.* 
Oh!   was  there  ever  such  a  knight  in  friendship  or  in  war, 
As  our  sovereign  lord,  King  Henry,  the  soldier  of  Navarre! 

Right  well   fought  all  the   Frenchmen   who   fought   for  France   that 

day; 

And  many  a  lordly  banner  God  gave  them  for  a  prey. 
But  we  of  the  Religion  have  borne  us  best  in  fight, 
And  our  good  lord  of  Rosny  hath  ta'en  the  cornet  white. 
Our  own  true  Maximilian  the  cornet  white  hath  ta'en  — 
The  cornet  white  with  crosses  black,  the  flag  of  false  Lorraine. 
Up  with  it  high;   unfurl  it  wide,  that  all  the  world  may  know 
How  God  hath   humbled   the   proud   house   that  wrought  his  Church 

such  woe. 


THOMAS  BABINGTON  MACAULAY 

Then  on  the  ground,  while  trumpets  peal  their  loudest  point  of  war, 
Fling  the  red  shreds,  a  foot-cloth  meet  for  Henry  of  Navarre. 

Ho,  maidens  of  Vienna!  ho,  matrons  of  Luzerne! 

Weep,  weep,  and  rend  your  hair  for  those  who  never  shall  return. 

Ho!   Philip,  send  for  charity  thy  Mexican  pistoles, 

That  Antwerp  monks  may  sing  a  mass  for  thy  poor  spearmen's  souls. 

Ho!  gallant  nobles  of  the  League,  look  that  your  arms  be  bright; 

Ho!  burghers  of  St.  Genevieve,  keep  watch  and  ward  to-night: 

For  our  God  hath  crushed  the  tyrant,  our  God  hath  raised  the  slave. 

And  mocked  the  counsel  of  the  wise  and  valor  of  the  brave. 

Then  glory  to  his  holy  name,  from  whom  all  glories  are; 

And  glory  to  our  sovereign  lord,  King  Henry  of  Navarre! 


944° 


JUSTIN  MCCARTHY 

( 1830-1912) 

JLTHOUGH  Justin  McCarthy  was  not  without  reputation  as  a  Home 
Rule  politician,  he  was  primarily  a  literary  man ;  his  adventures 
into  the  fields  of  history  and  fiction  having  preceded  his 
Parliamentary  career.  He  was  perhaps  a  novel  writer  rather  than  a 
historian  in  the  strict  sense  of  the  term.  His  histories  are  clever 
and  astute  accounts  of  comparatively  recent  events,  but  bear  little 
evidence  of  the  patient  scholarship,  the  critical  research,  which  are 
characteristic  of  modern  historical  scholarship.  Yet  the  ( History  of 

Our     Own-   Times,)     (The    Story    of    Glad- 
stone's  Life,)    (The  Reign  of  Queen  Anne,) 
the    <Four    Georges,*    and    the    <  Epoch    of 
Reform,  >    are    not    without    the    value    and 
interest  attached  to  the  writings  of  a  man 
of  affairs  whose  dramatic-  sense  is  well  de- 
veloped.     Mr.   McCarthy  wrote  of  the   first 
Reform  Bill,   of  Lord  Grey,   of  Lord   Palm- 
erston,   of  Disraeli,  of  Gladstone,    of  Home 
Rule  politics,  in  the  spirit  of  one  who  had 
been  in  the  swing  of  the  movements  which 
he  described,  and  who  had  known  his  heroes 
in  person  or  by    near    repute.     Mr.   McCar- 
thy's talents  as  a  novelist  were  of  use  to  him 
as  a  historian.     He  was  quick  to  grasp  the 
salient   features   of   character,  and   he   was   sensitive   to   the  dramatic 
elements   in   individuality.      His  <Leo  XIII., >  and  his  ( Modern    Lead- 
ers, y    a    series    of   biographical    sketches,   are    successful    portraits    of 
their  kind.      That   Mr.  McCarthy   did   not  always   see   below  the  sur- 
face in  his  estimates  of  famous  contemporaries  detracts  little  from  the 
picturesque  character  of  his  biographies.     He  is  capable  of  giving  to 
his  reader  in  a  sentence   or  two  a  vivid   if  general   impression   of  a 
personality  or  of  a  literary  work ;   as  when  he  says   that   « Charlotte 
Bronte  was  all  genius  and  ignorance,  and  George  Eliot  is  all  genius 
and  culture }) ;  or  when  he  says  of  Carlyle's  ( French  Revolution  >  that 
it  is  <(  history  read  by  lightning. » 

Justin  McCarthy  was  a  clever  journalist  as  well  as  a  writer  of  fic- 
tion and  history.  Born  at  Cork  in  1830,  he  connected  himself  with 
the  Liverpool  press  in  1853,  and  in  1860  became  a  member  of  the 


JUSTIN  MCCARTHY 


JUSTIN  MCCARTHY  9441 

staff  of  the  Morning  Star.  In  1864  he  became  chief  editor.  His 
newspaper  experience  had  more  than  a  little  influence  upon  his  style 
and  methods  of  literary  composition,  as  his  political  knowledge  aided 
him  in  his  treatment  of  historical  subjects.  For  twenty  years  he 
was  a  Home  Rule  M.P.,  being  first  elected  in  1879.  After  that  year, 
many  of  his  novels  were  produced.  They  show  the  quick  observa- 
tion of  the  man'  of  newspaper  training,  and  his  talents  as  a  ready 
and  clever  writer.  Mr.  McCarthy's  novels,  like  his  histories  and 
biographies,  are  concerned  mainly  with  the  England  of  his  own  day. 
Occasionally  the  plot  is  worked  out  against  the  background  of  Par- 
liamentary life,  as  in  (The  Ladies'  Gallery  >  and  <The  Right  Honor- 
able^ Among  his  other  novels  —  for  he  wrote  a  great  number — 
are  (Miss  Misanthrope,*  (A  Fair  Saxon,*  <Lady  Judith,'  'Dear  Lady 
Disdain, }  <The  Maid  of  Athens, J  and  <Paul  Massie.*  Mr.  McCarthy's 
style  is  crisp,  straightforward,  and  for  the  most  part  entertaining.  His 
last  years  were  given  to  a  series  of  autobiographical  works — (Re- 
miniscences) (1899),  (The  Story  of  An  Irishman)  (1904),  (Irish  Recollec- 
tions) (1911) —  containing  valuable  information  about  contemporary 
political  history. 


THE  KING  IS  DEAD  — LONG  LIVE  THE  QUEEN 
From  (A  History  of  Our  Own  Times  * 

BEFORE  half-past  two  o'clock  on  the  morning  of  June  2oth, 
1837,  William  IV.  was  lying  dead  in  Windsor  Castle,  while 
the  messengers  were  already  hurrying  off  to  Kensington 
Palace  to  bear  to  his  successor  her  summons  to  the  throne.  The 
illness  of  the  King  had  been  but  short,  and  at  one  time,  even 
after  it  had  been  pronounced  alarming,  it  seemed  to  take  so 
hopeful  a  turn  that  the  physicians  began  to  think  it  would  pass 
harmlessly  away.  But  the  King  was  an  old  man — was  an  old 
man  even  when  he  came  to  the  throne;  and  when  the  dangerous 
symptoms  again  exhibited  themselves,  their  warning-  was  very 
soon  followed  by  fulfillment.  The  death  of  King  William  may 
be  fairly  regarded  as  having  closed  an  era  of  our  history.  With 
him,  we  may  believe,  ended  the  reign  of  personal  government 
in  England.  William  was  indeed  a  constitutional  king  in  more 
than  mere  name.  He  was  to  the  best  of  his  lights  a  faithful 
representative  of  the  constitutional  principle.  He  was  as  far  in 
advance  of  his  two  predecessors  in  understanding  and  acceptance 
of  the  principle  as  his  successor  has  proved  herself  beyond  him. 
Constitutional  government  has  developed  itself  gradually,  as 


9442  JUSTIN  MCCARTHY 

everything  else  has  done  in  English  politics.  The  written  prin- 
ciple and  code  of  its  system  it  would  be  as  vain  to  look  for  as 
for  the  British  Constitution  itself.  King  William  still  held  to 
and  exercised  the  right  to  dismiss  his  ministers  ^hen  he  pleased, 
and  because  he  pleased.  His  father  had  held  to  the  right  of 
maintaining  favorite  ministers  in  defiance  of  repeated  votes  of 
the  House  of  Commons.  It  would  not  be  easy  to  find  any 
written  rule  or  declaration  of  constitutional  law  pronouncing  deci- 
sively that  either  was  in  the  wrong.  But  in  our  day  we  should 
believe  that  the  constitutional  freedom  of  England  was  outraged, 
or  at  least  put  in  the  extremest  danger,  if  a  sovereign  were  to 
dismiss  a  ministry  at  mere  pleasure,  or  to  retain  it  in  despite  of 
the  expressed  wish  of  the  House  of  Commons.  Virtually  there- 
fore there  was  still  personal  government  in  the  reign  of  William 
IV.  With  his  death  the  long  chapter  of  its  history  came  to  an 
end.  We  find  it  difficult  now  to  believe  that  it  was  a  living 
principle,  openly  at  work  among  us,  if  not  openly  acknowledged, 
so  lately  as  in  the  reign  of  King  William. 

The  closing  scenes  of  King  William's  life  were  undoubtedly 
characterized  by  some  personal  dignity.  As  a  rule,  sovereigns 
show  that  they  know  how  to  die.  Perhaps  the  necessary  conse- 
quence of  their  training,  by  virtue  of  which  they  come  to  regard 
themselves  always  as  the  central  figures  in  great  State  pageantry, 
is  to  make  them  assume  a  manner  of  dignity  on  all  occasions 
when  the  eyes  of  their  subjects  may  be  supposed  to  be  on 
them,  even  if  dignity  of  bearing  is  not  the  free  gift  of  nature. 
The  manners  of  William  IV.  had. been,  like  those  of  most  of  his 
brothers,  somewhat  rough  and  overbearing.  He  had  been  an 
unmanageable  naval  officer.  He  had  again  and  again  disregarded 
or  disobeyed  orders;  and  at  last  it  had  been  found  convenient  to 
withdraw  him  from  active  service  altogether,  and  allow  him  to 
rise  through  the  successive  ranks  of  his  profession  by  a  merely 
formal  and  technical  process  of  ascent.  In  his  more  private 
capacity  he  had,  when  younger,  indulged  more  than  once  in  un- 
seemly and  insufferable  freaks  of  temper.  He  had  made  himself 
unpopular,  while  Duke  of  Clarence,  by  his  strenuous  opposition 
to  some  of  the  measures  which  were  especially  desired  by  all  the 
enlightenment  of  the  country.  He  was,  for  example,  a  deter- 
mined opponent  of  the  measures  for  the  abolition  of  the  slave 
trade.  He  had  wrangled  publicly  in  open  debate  with  some  ot 
his  brothers  in  the  House  of  Lords;  and  words  had  been  inter- 


JUSTIN  MCCARTHY  9443 

changed  among  the  royal  princes  which  could  not  be  heard  in 
our  day  even  in  the  hottest  debates  of  the  more  turbulent  House 
of  Commons.  But  William  seems  to  have  been  one  of  the  men 
whom  increased  responsibility  improves.  He  was  far  better  as  a 
king  than  as  a  prince.  He  proved  that  he  was  able  at  least  to 
understand  that  first  duty  of  a  constitutional  sovereign,  which  to 
the  last  day  of  his  active  life  his  father,  George  III.,  never  could 
be  brought  to  comprehend, — that  the  personal  predilections  and 
prejudices  of  the  king  must  sometimes  give  way  to  the  public 
interest. 

Nothing  perhaps  in  life  became  him  like  the  leaving  of  it. 
His  closing  days  were  marked  by  gentleness  and  kindly  consid* 
eration  for  the  feelings  of  those  around  him.  When,  he  awoke 
on  June  i8th  he  remembered  that  it  was  the  anniversary  of  the 
Battle  of  Waterloo.  He  expressed  a  strong,  pathetic  wish  to  live 
over  that  day,  even  if  he  were  never  to  see  another  sunset.  He 
called  for  the  flag  which  the  Duke  of  Wellington  always  sent  him 
on  that  anniversary;  and  he  laid  his  hand  upon  the  eagle  which 
adorned  it,  and  said  he  felt  revived  by  the  touch.  He  had  him- 
self attended  since  his  accession  the  Waterloo  banquet;  but  this 
time  the  Duke  of  Wellington  thought  it  would  perhaps  be  more 
seemly  to  have  the  dinner  put  off,  and  sent  accordingly  to  take 
the  wishes  of  his  Majesty.  The  King  declared  that  the  dinner 
must  go  on  as  usual;  and  sent  to  the  Duke  a  friendly,  simple 
message,  expressing  his  hope  that  the  guests  might  have  a  pleas- 
ant day.  He  talked  in  his  homely  way  to  those  about  him,  his 
direct  language  seeming  to  acquire  a  sort  of  tragic  dignity  from 
the  approach  of  the  death  that  was  so  near.  He  had  prayers 
read  to  him  again  and  again,  and  called  those  near  him  to  wit- 
ness that  he  had  always  been  a  faithful  believer  in  the  truths  of 
religion.  He  had  his  dispatch-boxes  brought  to  him,  and  tried 
to  get  through  some  business  with  his  private  secretary.  It  was 
remarked  with  some  interest  that  the  last  official  act  he  ever 
performed  was  to  sign  with  his  trembling  hand  the  pardon  of  a 
condemned  criminal.  Even  a  far  nobler  reign  than  his  would 
have  received  new  dignity  if  it  closed  with  a  deed  of  mercy. 
When  some  of  those  around  him  endeavored  to  encourage  him 
with  the  idea  that  he  might  recover  and  live  many  years  yet,  he 
declared  with  a  simplicity  which  had  something  oddly  pathetic  in 
it  that  he  would  be  willing  to  live  ten  years  yet  for  the  sake  of 
the  country.  The  poor  King  was  evidently  under  the  sincere 


9444  JUSTIN  MCCARTHY 

conviction  that  England  could  hardly  get  on  without  him.  His 
consideration  for  his  country,  whatever  whimsical  thoughts  it 
may  suggest,  is  entitled  to  some  at  least  of  the  respect  which 
we  give  to  the  dying  groan  of  a  Pitt  or  a  Mirabeau,  who  fears 
with  too  much  reason  that  he  leaves  a  blank  not  easily  to  be 
filled.  (<  Young  royal  tarry-breeks, w  William  had  been  jocularly 
called  by  Robert  Burns  fifty  years  before,  when  there  was  yet  a 
popular  belief  that  he  would  come  all  right  and  do  brilliant  and 
gallant  things,  and  become  a  stout  sailor  in  whom  a  seafaring 
nation  might  feel  pride.  He  disappointed  all  such  expectations; 
but  it  must  be  owned  that  when  responsibility  came  upon  hirr* 
he  disappointed  expectation  anew  in  a  different  way,  and  'was  a 
better  sovereign,  more  deserving  of  the  complimentary  title  of 
patriot-king,  than  even  his  friends  would  have  ventured  to  antici- 
pate. 

There  were  eulogies  pronounced  upon  him  after  his  death, 
in  both  Houses  of  Parliament,  as  a  matter  of  course.  It  is  not 
necessary,  however,  to  set  down  to  mere  court  homage  or  parlia- 
mentary form  some  of  the  praises  that  were  bestowed  upon  the 
dead  King  by  Lord  Melbourne  and  Lord  Brougham  and  Lord 
Grey.  A  certain  tone  of  sincerity,  not  quite  free  perhaps  from 
surprise,  appears  to  run  through  some  of  these  expressions  of 
admiration.  They  seem  to  say  that  the  speakers  were  at  one 
time  or  another  considerably  surprised  to  find  that  after  all,  Will- 
iam really  was  able  and  willing-  on  grave  occasions  to  subordi- 
nate his  personal  likings  and  dislikings  to  considerations  of  State 
policy,  and  to  what  was  shown  to  him  to  be  for  the  good  of  the 
nation.  In  this  sense  at  least  he  may  be  called  a  patriot-king. 
We  have  advanced  a  good  deal  since  that  time,  and  we  require 
somewhat  higher  and  more  positive  qualities  in  a  sovereign  now 
to  excite  our  political  wonder.  But  we  must  judge  William  by 
the  reigns  that  went  before,  and  not  the  reign  that  came  after 
him;  and  with  that  consideration  borne  in  mind,  we  may  accept 
the  panegyric  of  Lord  Melbourne  and  of  Lord  Grey,  and  admit 
that  on  the  whole  he  was  better  than  his  education,  his  early 
opportunities,  and  his  early  promise. 

William  IV.  (third  son  of  George  III.)  had  left  no  children 
who  could  have  succeeded  to  the  throne;  and  the  crown  passed 
therefore  to  the  daughter  of  his  brother  (fourth  son  of  George), 
the  Duke  of  Kent.  This  was  the  Princess  Alexandrina  Victoria, 
who  was  born  at  Kensington  Palace  on  May  24th,  1819.  The 


JUSTIN  MCCARTHY 

princess  was  therefore  at  this  time  little  more  than  eighteen  years 
of  age.  The  Duke  of  Kent  died  a  few  months  after  the  birth  of 
his  daughter,  and  the  child  was  brought  up  under  the  care  of 
his  widow.  She  was  well  brought  up:  both  as  regards  her  intel- 
lect and  her  character  her  training  was  excellent.  She  was  taught 
to  be  self-reliant,  brave,  and  systematical.  Prudence  and  economy 
were  inculcated  on  her  as  though  she  had  been  born  to  be  poor. 
One  is  not  generally  inclined  to  attach  much  importance  to  what 
historians  tell  us  of  the  education  of  contemporary  princes  or 
princesses;  but  it  cannot  be  doubted  that  the  Princess  Victoria 
was  trained  for  intelligence  and  goodness. 

<(  The  death  of  the  King  of  England  has  everywhere  caused  the 
greatest  sensation.  ...  Cousin  Victoria  is  said  to  have  shown 
'astonishing  self-possession.  She  undertakes  a  heavy  responsi- 
bility, especially  at  the  present  moment,  when  parties  are  so 
excited,  and  all  rest  their  hopes  on  her."  These  words  are  an 
extract  from  a  letter  written  on  July  4th,  1837,  by  the  late  Prince 
Albert,  the  Prince  Consort  of  so  many  happy  years.  The  letter 
was  written  to  the  Prince's  father,  from  Bonn.  The  young  Queen 
had  indeed  behaved  with  remarkable  self-possession.  There  is  a 
pretty  description,  which  has  been  often  quoted,  but  will  bear 
citing  once  more,  given  by  Miss  Wynn,  of  the  manner  in  which 
the  young  sovereign  received  the  news  of  her  accession  to  a 
throne.  The  Archbishop  of  Canterbury,  Dr.  Howley,  and  the 
Lord  Chamberlain,  the  Marquis  of  Conyngham,  left  Windsor  for 
Kensington  Palace,  where  the  Princess  Victoria  had  been  resid- 
ing, to  inform  her  of  the  King's  death.  It  was  two  hours  after 
midnight  when  they  started,  and  they  did  not  reach  Kensington 
until  five  o'clock  in  the  morning.  (<They  knocked,  they  rang> 
they  thumped  for  a  considerable  time  before  they  could  rouse  the 
porter  at  the  gate;  they  were  again  kept  waiting  in  the  court- 
yard, then  turned  into  one  of  the  lower  rooms,  where  they  seemed 
forgotten  by  everybody.  They  rang  the  bell,  and  desired  that 
the  attendant  of  the  Princess  Victoria  might  be  sent  to  inform 
her  Royal  Highness  that  they  requested  an  audience  on  busi- 
ness of  importance.  After  another  delay,  and  another  ringing  to 
inquire  the  cause,  the  attendant-  was  summoned,  who  stated  that 
the  princess  was  in  such  a  sweet  sleep  that  she  could  not  venture 
to  disturb  her.  Then  they  said,  <  We  are  come  on  business  of 
State  to  the  Queen,  and  even  her  sleep  must  give  way  to  that.' 
It  did;  and  to  prove  that  she  did  not  keep  them  waiting,  in  a 


9446  JUSTIN  MCCARTHY 

few  minutes  she  came  into  the  room  in  a  loose  white  nightgown 
and  shawl,  her  nightcap  thrown  off,  and  her  hair  falling  upon  her 
shoulders,  her  feet  in  slippers,  tears  in  her  eyes,  but  perfectly 
collected  and  dignified."  The  Prime  Minister,  Lord  Melbourne, 
was  presently  sent  for,  and  a  meeting  of  the  Privy  Council  sum- 
moned for  eleven  o'clock;  when  the  Lord  Chancellor  administered 
the  usual  oaths  to  the  Queen,  and  Her  Majesty  received  in  re- 
turn the  oaths  of  allegiance  of  the  Cabinet  ministers  and  other 
privy  councillors  present.  Mr.  Greville,  who  was  usually  as  little 
disposed  to  record  any  enthusiastic  admiration  of  royalty  and 
royal  personages  as  Humboldt  or  Varnhagen  von  Ense  could  have 
been,  has  described  the  scene  in  words  well  worthy  of  quotation. 

<(The  King  died  at  twenty  minutes  after  two  yesterday  morning, 
and  the  young  Queen  met  the  Council  at  Kensington  Palace  at 
eleven.  Never  was  anything  like  the  first  impression  she.  produced, 
or  the  chorus  of  praise  and  admiration  which  is  raised  about  her 
manner  and  behavior,  and  certainly  not  without  justice.  It  was 
very  extraordinary,  and  something  far  beyond  what  was  looked  for. 
Her  extreme  youth  and  inexperience,  and  the  ignorance  of  the  world 
concerning  her,  naturally  excited  intense  curiosity  to  see  how  she 
would  act  on  this  trying  occasion,  and  there  was  a  considerable 
assemblage  at  the  palace,  notwithstanding  the  short  notice  which 
was  given.  The  first  thing  to  be  done  was  to  teach  her  her  lesson, 
which,  for  this  purpose,  Melbourne  had  himself  to  learn.  .  .  .  She 
bowed  to  the  lords,  took  her  seat,  and  then  read  her  speech  in  a 
clear,  distinct,  and  audible  voice,  and  without  any  appearance  of  fear 
or  embarrassment.  She  was  quite  plainly  dressed,  arid  in  mourning. 
After  she  had  read  her  speech,  and  taken  and  signed  the  oath  for 
the  security  of  the  Church  of  Scotland,  the  privy  councillors  were 
sworn,  the  two  royal  dukes  first  by  themselves;  and  as  these  two 
old  men,  her  uncles,  knelt  before  her,  swearing  allegiance  and  kissing 
her  hand,  I  saw  her  blush  up  to  the  eyes,  as  if  she  felt  the  contrast 
between  their  civil  and  their  natural  relations, — and  this  was  the  only 
sign  of  emotion  which  she  evinced.  Her  manner  to  them  was  very 
graceful  and  engaging;  she  kissed  them  both,  and  rose  from  her 
chair  and  moved  towards  the  Duke  of  Sussex,  who  was  farthest  from 
her,  and  too  infirm  to  reach  her.  She  seemed  rather  bewildered 
at  the  multitude  of  men  who  were  sworn,  and  who  came,  one  after 
another,  to  kiss  her  hand,  but  she  did  not  speak  to  anybody,  nor  did 
she  make  the  slightest  difference  in  her  manner,  or  show  any  in 
her  countenance,  to  any  individual  of  any  rank,  station,  or  party.  1 
particularly  watched  her  when  Melbourne  and  the  ministers,  and  tha 


JUSTIN  MCCARTHY  9447 

Duke  of  Wellington  and  Peel,  approached  her.  She  went  through 
the  whole  ceremony,  occasionally  looking  at  Melbourne  for  instruction 
when  she  had  any  doubt  what  to  do, — which  hardly  ever  occurred, — 
and  with  perfect  calmness  and  self-possession,  but  at  the  same  time 
with  a  graceful  modesty  and  propriety  particularly  interesting  and 
ingratiating." 

Sir  Robert  Peel  told  Mr.  Greville  that  he  was  amazed  ((at  her 
manner  and  behavior,  at  her  apparent  deep  sense  of  her  situa- 
tion, and  at  the  same  time  her  firmness."  The  Duke  of  Welling, 
ton  said  in  his  blunt  way  that  if  she  had  been  his  own  daughter 
he  could  not  have  desired  to  see  her  perform  her  part  better, 
<(At  twelve,"  says  Mr,  Greville,  <(  she  held  a  Council,  at  which 
she  presided  with  as  much  ease  as  if  she  had  been  doing  nothing 
else  all  her  life;  and  though  Lord  Lansdowne  and  my  colleague 
had  contrived  between  them  to  make  some  confusion  with  the 
Council  papers,  she  was  not  put  out  by  it.  She  looked  very  well ; 
and  though  so  small  in  stature,  and  without  much  pretension  to 
beauty,  the  gracefulness  of  her  manner  and  the  good  expression 
of  her  countenance  give  her  on  the  whole  a  very  agreeable  ap- 
pearance, and  with  her  youth  inspire  an  excessive  interest  in  all 
who  approach  her,  and  which  I  can't  help  feeling  myself.  .  .  . 
In  short,  she  appears  to  act  with  every  sort  of  good  taste  and 
good  feeling,  as  well  as  good  sense;  and  as  far  as  it  has  gone, 
nothing  can  be  more  favorable  than  the  impression  she  has 
made,  and  nothing  can  promise  better  than  her  manner  and  con- 
duct do;  though,"  Mr.  Greville  somewhat  superfluously  adds,  ((it 
would  be  rash  to  count  too  confidently  upon  her  judgment  and 
discretion  in  more  weighty  matters." 

The  interest  or  curiosity  with  which  the  demeanor  of  the 
young  Queen  was  watched  was  all  the  keener  because  the  world 
in  general  knew  so  little  about  her.  Not  merely  was  the  world 
in  general  thus  ignorant,  but  even  the  statesmen  and  officials  in 
closest  communication  with  court  circles  were  in  almost  absolute 
ignorance.  According  to  Mr.  Greville  (whose  authority,  however, 
is  not  to  be  taken  too  implicitly  except  as  to  matters  which  he 
actually  saw),  the  young  Queen  had  been  previously  kept  in  such 
seclusion  by  her  mother — "never,"  he  says,  ft having  slept  out 
of  her  bedroom,  nor  been  alone  with  anybody  but  herself  and 
the  Baroness  Lehzen" —  that  (<not  one  of  her  acquaintances,  none 
of  the  attendants  at  Kensington,  not  even  the  Duchess  of  North- 
umberland, her  governess,  have  any  idea  what  she  is  or  what 


9443  JUSTIN  MCCARTHY 

she  promises  to  be."  There  was  enough  in  the  court  of  the  two 
sovereigns  who  went  before  Queen  Victoria  to  justify  any  strict- 
ness of  seclusion  which  the  Duchess  of  Kent  might  desire  for 
her  daughter.  George  IV.  was  a  Charles  II.  without  the  edu- 
cation or  the  talents;  William  IV.  was  a  Frederick  William  of 
Prussia  without  the  genius.  The  ordinary  manners  of  the  society 
at  the  court  of  either  had  a  full  flavor,  to  put  it  in  the  softest 
way,  such  as  a  decent  tap-room  would  hardly  exhibit  in  a  time 
like  the  present.  No  one  can  read  even  the  most  favorable 
descriptions  given  by  contemporaries  of  the  manners  of  those 
two  courts,  without  feeling  grateful  to  the  Duchess  of  Kent  for 
resolving  that  her  daughter  should  see  as  little  as  possible  of 
their  ways  and  their  company. 

It  was  remarked  with  some  interest  that  the  Queen  sub- 
scribed herself  simply  "Victoria,"  and  not,  as  had  been  expected, 
C( Alexandrina  Victoria. })  Mr.  Greville  mentions  in '  his  diary  of 
December  24th,  1819,  that  <(the  Duke  of  Kent  gave  the  name 
of  Alexandrina  to  his  daughter  in  compliment  to  the  Emperor  of 
Russia.  She  was  to  have  had  the  name  of  Georgiana,  but  the 
duke  insisted  upon  Alexandrina  being  her  first  name.  The  Regent 
sent  for  Lieven  [the  Russian  ambassador,  husband  of  the  famous 
Princess  de  Lieven],  and  made  him  a  great  many  compliments, 
en  le  persiflant,  on  the  Emperor's  being  godfather;  but  informed 
him  that  the  name  of  Georgiana  could  be  second  to  no  other  in 
this  country,  and  therefore  she  could  not  bear  it  at  all.®  It  was 
a  very  wise  choice  to  employ  simply  the  name  Victoria,  around 
which  no  tmgenial  associations  of  any  kind  hung  at  that  time, 
and  which  can  have  only  grateful  associations  in  the  history  of 
this  country  for  the  future. 

It 'is  not  necessary  to  go  into  any  formal  description  of  the 
various  ceremonials  and  pageantries  which  celebrated  the  acces- 
sion of  the  new  sovereign.  The  proclamation  -  of  the  Queen, 
her  appearance  for  the  first  time  on  the  throne  in  the  House  of 
Lords  when  she  prorogued  Parliament  in  person,  and  even  the 
gorgeous  festival  of  her  coronation, —  which  took  place  on  June 
28th,  in  the  following  year,  1838, — may  be  passed  over  with  a 
mere  word  of  record.  It  is  worth  mentioning,  however,  that  at 
the  coronation  procession  one  of  the  most  conspicuous  figures 
was  that  of  Marshal  Soult,  Duke  of  Dalmatia,  the  opponent  of 
Moore  and  Wellington  in  the  Peninsula,  the  commander  of  the 
Old  Guard  at  Llitzen,  and  one  of  the  strong  arms  of  Napoleon  at 


JUSTIN  MCCARTHY 

Waterloo.  Soult  had  been  sent  as  ambassador  extraordinary  to 
represent  the  French  government  and  people  at  the  coronation 
of  Queen  Victoria;  and  nothing  could  exceed  the  enthusiasm  with 
which  he  was  received  by  the  crowds  in  the  streets  of  London 
on  that  day.  The  white-haired  soldier  was  cheered  wherever  a 
glimpse  of  his  face  or  figure  could  be  caught.  He  appeared  in 
the  procession  in  a  carriage  the  frame  of  which  had  been  used 
on  occasions  of  state  by  some  of  the  princes  of  the  House  of 
Conde,  and  which  Soult  had  had  splendidly  decorated  for  the 
ceremony  of  the  coronation.  Even  the  Austrian  ambassador, 
says  an  eye-witness,  attracted  less  attention  than  Soult,  although 
the  dress  of  the  Austrian,  Prince  Esterhazy,  <(down  to  his  very 
boot-heels  sparkled  with  diamonds. })  The  comparison  savors  now 
of  the  ridiculous,  but  is  remarkably  expressive  and  effective. 
Prince  Esterhazy's  name  in  those  days  suggested  nothing  but 
diamonds.  His  diamonds  may  be  said  to  glitter  through  all  the 
light  literature  of  the  time..  When  Lady  Mary  Wortley  Montagu 
wanted  a  comparison  with  which  to  illustrate  excessive  splendor 
and  brightness,  she  found  it  in  (<  Mr.  Pitt's  diamonds. }>  Prince 
Esterhazy's  served  the  same  purpose  for  the  writers  of  the  early 
years  of  the  present  reign.  It  was  therefore,  perhaps,  no  very 
poor  tribute  to  the  stout  old  moustache  of  the  Republic  and  the 
Empire  to  say  that  at  a  London  pageant  his  war-worn  face  drew 
attention  away  from  Prince  Esterhazy's  diamonds.  Soult  himself 
felt  very  warmly  the  genuine  kindness  of  the  reception  given  to 
him.  Years  after,  in  a  debate  in  the  French  Chamber,  when  M. 
Guizot  was  accused  of  too  much  partiality  for  the  English  alliance, 
Marshal  Soult  declared  himself  a  warm  champion  of  that  alliance. 
<(I  fought  the  English  down  to  Toulouse, }>  he  said,  "when  I 
fired  the  last  cannon  in  defense  of  the  national  independence: 
in  the  mean  time  I  have  been  in  London;  and  France  knows 
the  reception  which  I  had  there.  The  English  themselves  cried 
*Vive  Soult  !> — they  cried,  <  Soult  forever  !>  I  had  learned  to 
estimate  the  English  on  the  field  of  battle;  I  have  learned  to  esti- 
mate them  in  peace:  and  I  repeat  that  I  am  a  warm  partisan  of 
the  English  alliance. »  History  is  not  exclusively  made  by  cab- 
inets and  professional  diplomatists.  It  is  highly  probable  that 
the  cheers  of  a  London  crowd  on  the  day  of  the  Queen's  corona- 
tion did  something  genuine  and  substantial  to  restore  the  good 
feeling  between  this  country  and  France,  and  efface  the  bitter 
memories  of  Waterloo, 


JUSTIN  MCCARTHY 

It  is  a  fact  well  worthy  of  note,  amid  whatever  records  of 
court  ceremonial  and  of  political  change,  that  a  few  days  after 
the  accession  of  the  Queen,  Mr.  Montefiore  was  elected  Sheriff 
of  London  (the  first  Jew  who  had  ever  been  chosen  for  that 
office),  and  that  he  received  knighthood  at  the  hands  of  her 
Majesty  when  she  visited  the  City  on  the  following  Lord  Mayor's 
day.  He  was  the  first  Jew  whom  royalty  had  honored  in  this 
country  since  the  good  old  times  when  royalty  was  pleased  to 
borrow  the  Jew's  money,  or  order  instead  the  extraction  of  his 
teeth.  The  expansion  of  the  principle  of  religious  liberty  and 
equality,  which  has  been  one  of  the  most  remarkable  characteris- 
tics of  the  reign  of  Queen  Victoria,  could  hardly  have  been  more 
becomingly  inaugurated  than  by  the  compliment  which  sovereign 
and  city  paid  to  Sir  Moses  Montefiore. 


A  MODERN   ENGLISH   STATESMAN 
From  <A  History  of  Our  Own  Times  > 

«T  TN-ARM,  Eros:  the  long  day's  task  is  done,  and  we  must 
|^J  sleep!"  A  long,  very  long  day's  task  was  nearly  done. 
A  marvelous  career  was  fast  drawing  to  its  close.  Down 
in  Hertfordshire  Lord  Palmerston  was  dying.  As  Mirabeau  said 
of  himself,  so  Palmerston  might  have  said:  he  could  already  hear 
the  preparations  for  the  funeral  of  Achilles.  He  had  enjoyed  life 
to  the  last  as  fully  as  ever  Churchill  did,  although  in  a  different 
sense.  Long  as  his  life  was,  if  counted  by  mere  years,  it  seems 
much  longer  still  when  we  consider  what  it  had  compassed,  and 
how  active  it  had  been  from  the  earliest  to  the  very  end.  Many 
men  were  older  than  Lord  Palmerston;  he  left  more  than  one 
senior  behind  him.  But  they  were  for  the  most  part  men  whose 
work  had  long  been  done, —  men  who  had  been  consigned  to  the 
arm-chair  of  complete  inactivity.  Palmerston  was  a  hard-working 
statesman  until  within  a  very  few  days  of  his  death.  He  had 
been  a  member  of  Parliament  for  nearly  sixty  years.  He  entered 
Parliament  for  the  first  time  in  the  year  when  Byron,  like  him- 
self a  Harrow  boy,  published  his  first  poems.  .He  had  been  in 
the  House  of  Commons  for  thirty  years  when  the  Queen  came  to 
the  throne.  He  used  to  play  chess  with  the  unfortunate  Caroline 
of  Brunswick,  wife  of  the  Prince  Regent,  when  she  lived  at 


JUSTIN  MCCARTHY 

Kensington  as  Princess  of  Wales.  In  1808,  being  then  one  of 
the  Lords  of  the  Admiralty,  he  had  defended  the  Copenhagen 
expedition  of  the  year  before,  and  insisted  that  it  was  a  stroke 
indispensable  to  the  defeat  of  the  designs  of  Napoleon.  During 
all  his  political  career  he  was  only  out  of  office  for  rare  and  brief 
seasons.  To  be  a  private  member  of  Parliament  was  a  short 
occasional  episode  in  his  successful  life.  In  the  words  of  Sadi, 
the  Persian  poet,  he  had  obtained  an  ear  of  corn  from  every 
harvest. 

No  man  since  the  death  of  the  Duke  of  Wellington  had  filled 
so  conspicuous  a  place  in  the  public  mind.  No  man  had  enjoyed 
anything  like  the  same  amount  of  popularity.  He  died  at  the 
moment  when  that  popularity  had  reached  its  very  zenith.  It 
hajd  become  the  fashion  of  the  day  to  praise  all  he  said  and  all 
he  did.  It  was  the  settled  canon  of  the  ordinary  Englishman's 
faith,  that  what  Palmerston  said  England  must  feel.  .  . 

Privately,  he  can  hardly  have  had  any  enemies.  He  had  a 
kindly  heart,  which  won  on  all  people  who  came  near  him.  He 
had  no  enduring  enmities  or  capricious  dislikes;  and  it  was  there- 
fore very  hard  for  ill-feeling  to  live  in  his  beaming,  friendly 
presence.  He  never  disliked  men  merely  because  he  had  often  to 
encounter  them  in  political  war.  He  tried  his  best  to  give  them 
as  good  as  they  brought,  and  he  bore  no  malice.  There  were 
some  men  whom  he  disliked,  as  we  have  already  mentioned  in 
these  volumes;  but  they  were  men  who  for  one  reason  or  another 
stood  persistently  in  his  way,  and  who,  he  fancied  he  had  reason 
to  believe,  had  acted  treacherously  towards  him.  He  liked  a  man 
to  be  "English,"  and  he  liked  him  to  be  what  he  considered  a 
gentleman;  but  he  did  not  restrict  his  definition  of  the  word 
<(  gentleman })  to  the  mere  qualifications  of  birth  or  social  rank. 
His  manners  were  frank  and  genial  rather  than  polished;  and  his 
is  one  of  the  rare  instances  in  which  a  man  contrived  always 
to  keep  up  his  personal  dignity  without  any  stateliness  of  bearing 
and  tone.  He  was  a  model  combatant:  when  the  combat  was 
over,  he  was  ready  to  sit  down  by  his  antagonist's  side  and  be 
his  friend,  and  talk  over  their  experiences  and  exploits.  He  was 
absolutely  free  from  affectation.  This  very  fact  gave  sometimes 
an  air  almost  of  roughness  to  his  manners,  he  could  be  so  plain- 
spoken  and  downright  when  suddenly  called  on  to  express  his 
mind.  He  was  not,  in  the  highest  sense  of  the  word,  a  truthful 
man;  that  is  to  say,  ijiere  were  episodes  of  his  career  in  which 


9452  JUSTIN  MCCARTHY 

for  purposes  of  statecraft  he  allowed  the  House  of  Commons  and 
the  country  to  become  the  dupes  of  an  erroneous  impression. 
Personally  truthful  and  honorable  of  course  it  would  be  super- 
fluous to  pronounce  him.  A  man  of  Palmerston's  bringing-up  is 
as  certain  to  be  personally  truthful  as  he  is  to  be  brave,  and  to 
be  fond  of  open-air  exercise  and  the  cold  bath.  But  Palmerston 
was  too  often  willing-  to  distinguish  between  the  personal  and  the 
political  integrity  of  a  statesman.  The  distinction  is  common  to 
the  majority  of  statesmen:  so  much  the  worse  for  statesmanship. 
But  the  gravest  errors  of  this  kind  which  Palmerston  had  com- 
mitted were  committed  for  an  earlier  generation.  .  .  . 

His  greatest  praise  with  Englishmen  must  be  that  he  loved 
England  with  a  sincere  love  that  never  abated.  He  had  no  pre- 
dilection, no  prejudice,  that  did  not  give  way  where  the  welfare 
of  England  was  concerned.  He  ought  to  have  gone  one  step 
higher  in  the  path  of  public  duty:  he  ought  to  have  loved  justice 
and  right  even  more  than  he  loved  England.  He  ought  to  have 
felt  more  tranquilly  convinced  that  the  cause  of  justice  and  of 
right  must  be  the  best  thing  which  an  English  minister  could 
advance  even  for  England's  sake  in  the  end.  Lord  Palmerston 
was  not  a  statesman  who  took  any  lofty  view  of  a  minister's 
duties.  His  statesmanship  never  stood  on  any  high  moral  eleva- 
tion. He  sometimes  did  things  in  the  cause  of  England  which 
we  may  well  believe  he  would  not  have  done  for  any  considera- 
tion in  any  cause  of  his  own.  His  policy  was  necessarily  shift- 
ing, uncertain,  and  inconsistent;  for  he  molded  it  always  on  the 
supposed  interests  of  England  as  they  showed  themselves  to  his 
eyes  at  the  time.  His  sympathies  with  liberty  were  capricious 
guides.  Sympathies  with  liberty  must  be  so  always  where  there 
is  no  clear  principle  defining  objects  and  guiding  conduct.  Lord 
Palmerston  was  not  prevented  by  his  liberal  sympathies  from 
sustaining  the  policy  of  the  Coup  d'Etat;  nor  did  his  hatred  of 
slavery,  one  of  his  few  strong  and  genuine  emotions  apart  from 
English  interests,  inspire  him  with  any  repugnance  for  the  cause 
of  the  Southern  slaveholders.  But  it  cannot  be.  doubted  that  his 
very  defects  were  a  main  cause  of  his  popularity  and  his  success. 
He  was  able  always  with  a  good  conscience  to  assure  the  English 
people  that  they  were  the  greatest  and  the  best  —  the  only  good 
and  great  —  people  in  the  world,  because  he  had  long  taught  him- 
self to  believe  this,  and  had  come  to  believe  it.  He  was  always 
popular,  because  his  speeches  invariably  conveyed  this  impression 


JUSTIN  MCCARTHY 

to  the  English  crowd  whom  he  addressed  in  or  out  of  Parliament. 
Other  public  men  spoke  for  the  most  part  to  tell  English  peo- 
ple of  something  they  ought  to  do  which  they  were  not  doing, 
something  which  they  had  done  and  ought  not  to  have  done.  It 
is  not  in  the  nature  of  things  that  such  men  should  be  as  popular 
as  those  who  told  England  that  whatever  she  did  must  be  right. 
Nor  did  Palmerston  lay  on  his  praise  with  coarse  and  palpable 
artifice.  He  had  no  artifice  in  the  matter.  He  believed  what  he 
said;  and  his  very  sincerity  made  it  the  more  captivating  and  the 
more  dangerous. 

A  phrase  sprang  up  in  Palmerston's  days  which  was  employed 
to  stigmatize  certain  political  conduct  beyond  all  ordinary  re- 
proach. It  was  meant  to  stamp  such  conduct  as  outside  the 
pale  of  reasonable  argument  or  patriotic  consideration.  That  was 
the  word  "un-English."  It  was  enough  with  certain  classes  to 
say  that  anything  was  (<  un-English w  in  order  to  put  it  utterly 
out  of  court.  No  matter  to  what  principles,  higher,  more  uni- 
versal, and  more  abiding  than  those  that  are  merely  English,  it 
might  happen  to  appeal,  the  one  word  of  condemnation  was  held 
to  be  enough  for  it.  Some  of  the  noblest  and  the  wisest  men 
of  our  day  were  denounced  as  "un-English."  A  stranger  might 
have  asked  in  wonder,  at  one  time,  whether  it  was  un-English 
to  be  just,  to  be  merciful,  to  have  consideration  for  the  claims 
and  the  rights  of  others,  to  admit  that  there  was  any  higher 
object  in  a  nation's  life  than  a  diplomatic  success.  All  that 
would  have  made  a  man  odious  and  insufferable  in  private  life 
was  apparently  held  up  as  belonging  to  the  virtues  of  the  Eng- 
lish nation.  Rude  self-assertion,  blunt  disregard  for  the  feelings 
and  the  claims  of  others,  a  self-sufficiency  which  would  regard 
all  earth's  interests  as  made  for  England's  special  use  alone, — • 
the  yet  more  outrageous  form  of  egotism  which  would  fancy  that 
the  moral  code  as  it  applies  to  others  does  not  apply  to  us, —  all 
this  seemed  to  be  considered  the  becoming  national  character- 
istic of  the  English  people.  It  would  be  almost  superfluous  to 
say  that  this  did  not  show  its  worst  in  Lord  Palmerston  himself. 
As  in  art,  so  in  politics,  we  never  see  how  bad  some  peculiar 
defect  is  until  we  see  it  in  the  imitators  of  a  great  man's  style. 
A  school  of  Palmerstons,  had  it  been  powerful  and  lasting,  would 
have  made  England  a  nuisance  to  other  nations.  .  .  .  We 
have  no  hesitation  in  saying  that  Lord  Palmerston's  statesman- 
ship on  the  whole  lowered  the  moral  tone  of  English  politics  for 


JUSTIN  MCCARTHY 

a  time.  This  consideration  alone,  if  there  were  nothing  else,  for- 
bids us  to  regard  him  as  a  statesman  whose  deeds  were  equal  to 
his  opportunities  and  to  his  genius.  To  serve  the  purpose  of  the 
hour  was  his  policy.  To  succeed  in  serving  it  was  his  triumph. 
It  is  not  thus  that  a  great  fame  is  built  up,  unless  indeed  where 
the  genius  of  the  man  is  like  that  of  some  Caesar  or  Napoleon, 
which  can  convert  its  very  ruins  into  monumental  records.  Lord 
Palmerston  is  hardly  to  be  called  a  great  man.  Perhaps  he  may 
be  called  a  great  "man  of  the  time.* 


9455 


GEORGE  MACDONALD 

(1824-1905) 

EORGE  MACDONALD  has  been  characterized  as  a  Across  between 
a  poet  and  a  spiritual  teacher. })  His  powers  as  a  novelist, 
however,  are  not  taken  into  account  by  this  description. 
Added  to  his  genuine  poetical  feeling,  and  to  his  refined  moral  sense, 
are  the  qualities  of  a  good  story-teller.  He  knows  how  to  handle  an 
elaborate  plot;  he  understands  the  dramatic  values  of  situations;  he 
can  put  life  into  his  characters.  Yet  the  dominant  impression  left 
by  his  novels  is  their  essential  moral  nobility.  The  ideal  which  Mr. 
Macdonald  sets  before  himself  as  a  writer 
of  fiction  is  summed  up  in  this  passage 
from  <Sir  Gibbie*:  — 

<*But  whatever  the  demand  of  the  age,  I 
insist  that  that  which  ought  to  be  presented  to 
its  beholding  is  the  common  good,  uncommonly 
developed:  and  that  not  because  of  its  rarity,  but 
because  it  is  truer  to  humanity.  It  is  the  noble, 
not  the  failure  from  the  noble,  that  is  the  true 
human:  and  if  I  must  show  the  failure,  let  it 
ever  be  with  an  eye  to  the  final  possible,  yea, 
imperative  success.  But  in  our  day  a  man  who 
will  accept  any  oddity  of  idiosyncratic  develop- 
ment in  manners,  tastes,  and  habits,  will  refuse 
not  only  as  improbable,  but  as  inconsistent  with 

human  nature,  the  representation  of  a  man  trying  to  be  merely  as  noble  as  is 
absolutely  essential  to  his  being. » 

This  quaint  realism  of  Mr.  Macdonald's  in  a  literary  age,  when 
many  believe  that  only  the  evil  in  man's  nature  is  real,  dominates 
his  novels,  from  <  David  Elginbrod  >  to  <The  Elect  Lady.'  They  are 
wholesome  stories  of  pure  men  and  women.  The  author  is  at  his 
strongest  when  drawing  a  character  like  that  of  Sir  Gibbie,  com- 
pelled forever  to  follow  the  highest  law  of  his  nature.  With  villains 
and  with  mean  folk,  Mr.  Macdonald  can  do  nothing.  He  cannot  un- 
derstand them,  neither  can  he  understand  complexity  of  character. 
He  is  too  dogmatic  ever  to  see  the  « shadowy  third »  between  the 
and  one.  He  is  too  much  of  a  preacher  to  be  altogether  a 
lovelist. 


GEORGE  MACDONALD 


9456  GEORGE   MACDONALD 

His  training  increased  his  dogmatic  faculty.  Born  at  Huntly, 
Aberdeenshire,  in  1824,  he  was  graduated  at  King's  College,  Aber- 
deen, and  then  entered  upon  the  study  of  theology  at  the  Independ- 
ent College,  Highbury,  London.  He  was  for  a  time  a  preacher  in 
the  Scottish  Congregational  Church,  but  afterwards  became  a  layman 
in  the  Church  of  England.  He  then  assumed  the  principalship  of  a 
seminary  in  London.  His  novels  witness  to  his  Scotch  origin  and 
training.  The  scenes  of  many  of  them  are  laid  in  Scotland,  and  not 
a  few  of  the  characters  speak  the  North-Scottish  dialect.  But  the 
spirit  which  informs  them  is  even  more  Scotch  than  their  setting. 
The  strong  moral  convictions  of  George  Macdonald  infuse  them  with 
the  sermonizing  element.  The  novelist  is  of  the  spiritual  kindred  of 
the  Covenanters.  Yet  they  are  full  of  a  kindly  humanity,  and  where 
the  moralist  is  merged  in  the  writer  of  fiction  they  attain  a  high 
degree  of  charm. 

His  pure  and  tender  spirit  made  him  peculiarly  fitted  to  under- 
stand children  and  child  life.  ((Gibbie  had  never  been  kissed,))  he 
writes;  ((and  how  is  any  child  £o  thrive  without  kisses?))  His  stories 
for  children,  (At  the  Back  of  the  North  Wind)  and  (The  Princess 
and  Curdie,)  are  full  of  beauty  in  their  'fine  sympathy  for  the  moods 
of  a  child. 

George  Macdonald  wrote  a  great  number  of  novels.  They  in- 
clude (David  Elginbrod,)  (Alec  Forbes  of  How  Glen,)  (Annals  of  a 
Quiet  Neighborhood,)  (The  Seaboard  Parish)  (sequel  to  the  foregoing), 
(Robert  Falconer,)  ( Wilfrid  Cumbermede,)  (Malcolm,)  (The  Marquis 
of  Lossie,)  (St.  George  and  St.  Michael,)  (Sir  Gibbie,)  (What's  Mine's 
Mine,)  (The  Elect  Lady,)  and  such  fanciful  stories  as  his  well-known 
(Phantastes.)  He  also  published  (Miracles  of  Our  Lord)  and  (Un- 
spoken Sermons.)  His  sermons,  as  might  be  expected,  are  vigorous, 
and  exhibit  his  peculiar  sensitiveness  to  the  moral  and  spiritual  elements 
in  man's  existence.  This  same  sensitiveness  pervades  his  verse. 
George  Macdonald's  death  occurred  in  London  on  September  i8th, 
1905. 


THE   FLOOD 

From  <Sir  Gibbie  > 

STILL  the  rain  fell  and  the  wind  blew;  the  torrents  came  tear- 
ing- down  from  the  hills,  and  shot  madly  into  the  rivers;  the 
rivers  ran  into  the  valleys,  and  deepened  the  lakes  that  filled 
them.     On  every  side  of  the  Mains,  from  the  foot  of  Glashgar  to 
Gormdrm,  all  was  one  yellow  and  red  sea,  with  roaring  currents 


GEORGE  MACDONALD 


9457 


and  vortices  numberless.  It  burrowed  holes,  it  opened  long- 
deserted  channels  and  water-courses;  here  it  deposited  inches  of 
rich  mold,  there  yards  of  sand  and  gravel;  here  it  was  carrying 
away  fertile  ground,  leaving  behind  only  bare  rock  or  shingle 
where  the  corn  had  been  waving;  there  it  was  scooping  out  the 
bed  of  a  new  lake.  Many  a  thick  soft  lawn  of  loveliest  grass, 
dotted  with  fragrant  shrubs  and  rare  trees,  vanished,  and  nothing 
was  there  when  the  waters  subsided  but  a  stony  waste,  or  a  grav- 
elly precipice.  Woods  and  copses  were  undermined,  and  trees  and 
soil  together  swept  into  the  vast;  sometimes  the  very  place  was 
hardly  there  to  say  it  knew  its  children  no  more.  Houses  were 
torn  to  pieces;  and  their  contents,  as  from  broken  boxes,  sent 
wandering  on  the  brown  waste  through  the  gray  air  to  the  dis- 
colored sea,  whose  saltness  for  a  long  way  out  had  vanished  with 
its  hue.  Hay-mows  were  buried  to  the  very  top  in  sand;  others 
went  sailing  bodily  down  the  mighty  stream  —  some  of  them  fol- 
lowed or  surrounded,  like  big  ducks,  by  a  great  brood  off  ricks  for 
their  ducklings.  Huge  trees  went  past  as  if  shot  down  an  Alpine 
slide — cottages  and  bridges  of  stone  giving  way  before  them. 
Wooden  mills,  thatched  roofs,  great  mill-wheels,  went  dipping 
and  swaying  and  hobbling  down.  From  the  upper  windows  of 
the  Mains,  looking  towards  the  chief  current,  they  saw  a  drift  of 
everything  belonging  to  farms  and  dwelling-houses  that  would 
float.  Chairs  and  tables,  chests,  carts,  saddles,  chests  of  drawers, 
tubs  of  linen,  beds  and  blankets,  work-benches,  harrows,  girnels, 
planes,  cheeses,  churns,  spinning-wheels,  cradles,  iron  pots,  wheel- 
barrows—  all  these  and  many  other  things  hurried  past  as  they 
gazed.  Everybody  was  looking,  and  for  a  time  all  had  been 
silent.  .  .  . 

Just  as  Mr.  Duff  entered  the  stable  from  the  nearer  end,  the 
opposite  gable  fell  out  with  a  great  splash,  letting  in  the  wide 
level  vision  of  turbidly  raging  waters,  fading  into  the  obscurity 
of  the  wind-driven  rain.  While  he  stared  aghast,  a  great  tree 
struck  the  wall  like  a  battering-ram,  so  that  the  stable  shook. 
The  horses,  which  had  been  for  some  time  moving  uneasily,  were 
now  quite  scared.  There  was  not  a  moment  to  be  lost.  Duff 
shouted  for  his  men;  one  or  two  came  running;  and  in  less 
than  a  minute  more,  those  in  the  house  heard  the  iron-shod  feet 
splashing  and  stamping  through  the  water,  as  one  after  another 
the  horses  were  brought  across  the  yard  to  the  door  of  the  house. 
Mr.  Duff  led  by  the  halter  his  favorite  Snowball,  who  was  a  good 


9458 


GEORGE  MACDONALD 


deal  excited,  plunging  and  rearing  so  that  it  was  all  he  could  do 
to  hold  him.  He  had  ordered  the  men  to  take  the  others  first, 
thinking  he  would  follow  more  quietly.  But  the  moment  Snow- 
ball heard  the  first  thundering  of  hoofs  on  the  stair,  he  went  out 
of  his  senses  with  terror,  broke  from  his  master,  and  went  plun- 
ging back  to  the  stable.  Duff  started  after  him,  but  was  only  in 
time  to  see  him  rush  from  the  further  end  into  the  swift  cur- 
rent, where  he  was  at  once  out  of  his  depth,  and  was  instantly 
caught  and  hurried,  rolling  over  and  over,  from  his  master's 
sight.  He  ran  back  into  the  house,  and  up  to  the  highest  win- 
dow. From  that  he  caught  sight  of  him  a  long  way  down, 
swimming.  Once  or  twice  he  saw  him  turned  heels  over  head — 
only  to  get  his  neck  up  again  presently,  and  swim  as  well  as 
before.  But  alas!  it  was  in  the  direction  of  the  Daur,  which 
would  soon,  his  master  did  not  doubt,  sweep  his  carcass  into  the 
North  Sea.  With  troubled  heart  he  strained  his  sight  after  him 
as  long  as  he  could  distinguish  his  lessening  head,  but  it  got 
amongst  some  wreck;  and,  unable  to  tell  any  more  whether  he 
saw  it  or  not,  he  returned  to  his  men  with  his  eyes  full  of  tears. 

Gibbie  woke  with  the  first  of  the  dawn.  The  rain  still  fell — 
descending  in  spoonfuls  rather  than  drops;  the  wind  kept  shaping 
itself  into  long  hopeless  howls,  rising  to  shrill  yells  that  went 
drifting  away  over  the  land;  and  then  the  howling  rose  again. 
Nature  seemed  in  despair.  There  must  be  more  for  Gibbie  to 
do!  He  must  go  again  to  the  foot  of  the  mountain,  and  see  if 
there  was  anybody  to  help.  They  might  even  be  in  trouble  at 
the  Mains:  who  could  tell!  .  .  . 

Gibbie  sped  down  the  hill  through  a  worse  rain  than  ever. 
The  morning  was  close,  and  the  vapors  that  filled  it  were  like 
smoke  burned  to  the  hue  of  the  flames  whence  it  issued.  Many 
a  man  that  morning  believed  another  great  deluge  begun,  and  all 
measures  relating  to  things  of  this  world  lost  labor.  Going  down 
his  own  side  of  the  Glashburn,  the  nearest  path  to  the  valley, 
the  gamekeeper's  cottage  was  the  first  dwelling  on  his  way.  It 
stood  a  little  distance  from  the  bank  of  the  burn,  opposite  the 
bridge  and  gate,  while  such  things  were. 

It  had  been  with  great  difficulty  —  for  even  Angus  did  not 
know  the  mountain  so  well  as  Gibbie . —  that  the  gamekeeper 
reached  it  with  the  housekeeper  the  night  before.  It  was  within 
two  gun-shots  of  the  house  of  Glashruach,  yet  to  get  to  it  they 


GEORGE   MACDONALD 

had  to  walk  miles  up  and  down  Glashgar.  A  mountain  in  storm 
is  as  hard  to  cross  as  a  sea.  Arrived,  they  did  not  therefore 
feel  safe.  The  tendency  of  the  Glashburn  was  indeed  away  from 
the  cottage,  as  the  grounds  of  Glashruach  sadly  witnessed;  but 
a  torrent  is  double-edged,  and  who  could  tell?  The  yielding  of 
one  stone  in  its  channel  might  send  it  to  them.  All  night  Angus 
watched,  peering  out  ever  again  into  the'  darkness,  but  seeing 
nothing  save  three  lights  that  burned  above  the  water — one  of 
them,  he  thought,  at  the  Mains.  The  other  two  went  out  in  the 
darkness,  but  that  only  in  the  dawn.  When  the  morning  came, 
there  was  the  Glashburn  meeting  the  Lorrie  in  his  garden.  But 
the  cottage  was  well  built,  and  fit  to  stand  a  good  siege,  while 
any  moment  the  waters  might  have  reached  their  height.  By 
breakfast-time,  however,  they  were  round  it  from  behind.  There 
is  nothing  like  a  flood  for  revealing  the  variations  of  surface,  the 
dips  and  swells  of  a  country.  In  a  few  minutes  they  were  iso- 
lated, with  the  current  of  the  Glashburn  on  one  side  and  that 
of  the  Lorrie  in  front.  When  he  saw  the  water  come  in  at  front 
and  back  doors  at  once,  Angus  ordered  his  family  up  the  stair: 
the  cottage  had  a  large  attic,  with  dormer  windows,  where  they 
slept.  He  himself  remained  below  for  some  time  longer,  in  that 
end  of  the  house  where  he  kept  his  guns  and  fishing-tackle ;  there 
he  sat  on  a  table,  preparing  nets  for  the  fish  that  would  be  left 
in  the  pools;  and  not  until  he  found  himself  afloat  did  he  take 
his  work  to  the  attic. 

There  the  room  was  hot,  and  they  had  the  window  open. 
Mistress  MacPholp  stood  at  it,  looking  out  on  the  awful  prospect, 
with  her  youngest  child,  a  sickly  boy,  in  her  arms.  He  had  in 
his  a  little  terrier  pup,  greatly  valued  of  the  gamekeeper.  In  a 
sudden  outbreak  of  peevish  willfulness,  he  threw  the  creature  out 
of  the  window.  It  fell  on  the  sloping  roof,  and  before  it  could 
recover  itself,  being  too  young  to  have  the  full  command  of  four 
legs,  rolled  off. 

<(Eh!  the  doggie's  i'  the  watter!"  cried  Mistress  MacPholp  in 
dismay. 

Angus  threw  down  everything  with  an  ugly  oath, —  for  he  had 
given  strict  orders  not  one  of  the  children  should  handle  the 
whelp, — jumped  up,  and  got  out  on  the  roof.  From  there  he 
might  have  managed  to  reach  it.  so  high  now  was  the  water,  had 
the  little  thing  remained  where  it  fell;  but  already  it  had  swum 
a  yard  or  two  from  the  house.  Angus,  who  was  a  fair  swimmer 


9460 


GEORGE  MACDONALD 


and  an  angry  man,  threw  off  his  coat,  and  plunging-  after  it, 
greatly  to  the  delight  of  the  little  one,  caught  the  pup.  with  his 
teeth  by  the  back  of  .the  neck,  and  turned  to  make  for  the  house. 
Just  then  a  shrub  swept  from  the  hill  caught  him  in  the  face, 
and  so  bewildered  him  that  before  he  got  rid  of  it  he  had  blun- 
dered into  the  edge  of  the  current,  which  seized  and  bore  him 
rapidly  away.  He  dropped  the  pup  and  struck  out  for  home 
with  all  his  strength.  But  he  soon  found  the  most  he  could  do 
was  to  keep  his  head  above  water,  and  gave  himself  up  for  lost. 
His  wife  screamed  in  agony.  Gibbie  heard  her  as  he  came  down 
the  hill,  and  ran  at  full  speed  towards  the  cottage. 

About  a  hundred  yards  from  the  house,  the  current  bore 
Angus  straight  into  a  large  elder-tree.  He  got  into  the  middle 
of  it,  and  there  remained  trembling, — the  weak  branches  break- 
ing with  every  motion  he  made,  while  the  stream  worked  at  the 
roots,  and  the  wind  laid  hold  of  him  with  fierce  leverage.  In 
terror,  seeming  still  to  sink  as  he  sat,  he  watched  the  trees  dart 
by  like  battering-rams  in  the  swiftest  of  the  current ;  the  least  of 
them  diverging  would  tear  the  elder-tree  with  it.  Brave  enough 
in  dealing  with  poachers,  Angus  was  not  the  man  to  gaze  with 
composure  in  the  face  of  a  sure  slow  death,  against  which  no 
assault  could  be  made.  Many  a  man  is  courageous  because  he 
has  not  conscience  enough  to  make  a  coward  of  him,  but  Angus 
had  not  quite  reached  that  condition;  and  from  the  branches  of 
the  elder-tree  showed  a  pale,  terror-stricken  visage.  Amidst  the 
many  objects  in  the  face  of  the  water,  Gibbie,  however,  did  not 
distinguish  it;  and  plunging  in,  swam  round  to  the  front  of  the 
cottage  to  learn  what  was  the  matter.  There  the  wife's  gesticu- 
lations directed  his  eyes  to  her  drowning  husband. 

But  what  was  he  to  do?  He  could  swim  to  the  tree  well 
enough,  and,  he  thought,  back  again;  but  how  was  that  to  be 
made  of  service  to  Angus  ?  He  could  not  save  him  by  main 
force:  there  was  not  enough  of  that  between  them.  If  he  had 
a  line  —  and  there  must  be  plenty  of  lines  in  the  cottage  —  he 
could  carry  him  the  end  of  it  to  haul  upon:  that  would  do.  If 
he  could  send  it  to  him,  that  would  be  better  still;  for  then  he 
could  help  at  the  other  end,  and  would  be  in  the  right  position 
up-stream  to  help  further  if  necessary,  for  down  the  current 
alone  was  the  path  of  communication  open.  He  caught  hold  of 
the  eaves  and  scrambled  on  to  the  roof.  But  in  the  folly  and 
faithlessness  of  her  despair,  the  woman  would  not  let  him  enter. 


GEORGE  MACDONALD  946  x 

With  a  curse  caught  from  her  husband,  she  struck  him  from  the 
window,  crying  — 

(<Ye  s'  no  come  in  here,  an'  my  man  droonin'  yon'er!  Gang 
till  'im,  ye  cooard!}> 

Never  had  poor  Gibbie  so  much  missed  the  use  of  speech. 
On  the  slope  of  the  roof  he  could  do  little  to  force  an  entrance, 
therefore  threw  himself  off  it  to  seek  another,  and  betook  him- 
self to  the  windows  below.  Through  that  of  Angus's  room,  he 
caught  sight  of  a  floating  anker  cask.  It  was  the  very  thing!  — 
and  there  on  the  walls  hung  a  quantity  of  nets  and  cordage! 
But  how  to  get  in  ?  It  was  a  sash  window,  and  of  course  swol- 
len with  the  wet,  and  therefore  not  to  be  opened;  and  there  was 
not  a  square  in  it  large  enough  to  let  him  through.  He  swam 
to  the  other  side,  and  crept  softly  on  to  the  roof  and  over  the 
ridge.  But  a  broken  slate  betrayed  him.  The  woman  saw  him, 
rushed  to  the  fireplace,  caught  up  the  poker,  and  darted  back  to 
defend  the  window. 

«Ye  s'  no  come  in  here,  I  tell  ye,"  she  screeched,  <(  an'  my 
man  stickin'  i'  yon  boortree  buss ! w 

Gibbie  advanced.  She  made  a  blow  at  him  with  the  poker. 
He  caught  it,  wrenched  it  from  her  grasp,  and  threw  himself 
from  the  roof.  The  next  moment  they 'heard  the  poker  at  work 
smashing  the  window. 

"He'll  be  in  an'  murder  's  a'!"  cried  the  mother,  and  ran  to 
the  stair,  while  the  children  screamed  and  danced  with  terror. 

But  the  water  was  far  too  deep  for  her.  She  returned  to  the 
attic,  barricaded  the  door,  and  went  again  to  the  window  to 
watch  her  drowning  husband. 

Gibbie  was  inside  in  a  moment;  and  seizing  the  cask,  pro- 
ceeded to  attach  to  it  a  strong  line.  He  broke  a  bit  from  a 
fishing-rod,  secured  the  line  round  the  middle  of  it  with  a  notch, 
put  the  stick  through  the  bunghole  in  the  bilge,  and  corked  up 
the  whole  with  a  net-float.  Happily  he  had  a  knife  in  his  pocket. 
He  then  joined  strong  lines  together  until  he  thought  he  had 
length  enough,  secured  the  last  end  to  a  bar  of  the  grate,  and 
knocked  out  both  sashes  of  the  ^window  with  an  axe.  A  passage 
thus  cleared,  he  floated  out  first  a  chair,  then  a  creepie,  and  one 
thing  after  another,  to  learn  from  what  part  to  start  the  bar- 
rel. Seeing  and  recognizing  them  from  above,  Mistress  MacPholp 
raised  a  terrible  outcry.  In  the  very  presence  of  her  drowning 
husband,  such  a  wanton  dissipation  of  her  property  roused  her  to 


9462 


GEORGE  MACDONALD 


fiercest  wrath;  for  she  imagined  Gibbie  was  emptying  her  house 
with  leisurely  revenge.  Satisfied  at  length,  he  floated  out  his 
barrel,  and  followed  with  the  line  in  his  hand,  to  aid  its  direction 
if  necessary.  It  struck  the  tree.  With  a  yell  of  joy  Angus  laid 
hold  of  it,  and  hauling  the  line  taut,  and  feeling  it  secure,  com- 
mitted himself  at  once  to  the  water,  holding  by  the  barrel  and 
swimming  with  his  legs,  while  Gibbie,  away  to  the  side  with  a 
hold  of  the  rope,  was  swimming  his  hardest  to  draw  him  out  of 
the  current.  But  a  weary  man  was  Angus  when  at  length  he 
reached  the  house.  It  was  all  he  could  do  to  get  himself  in 
at  the  window  and  crawl  up  the  stair.  At  the  top  of  it  he  fell 
benumbed  on  the  floor. 

By  the  time  that,  repentant  and  grateful,  Mistress  MacPholp 
bethought  herself  of  Gibbie,  not  a  trace  of  him  was  to  be  seen. 
While  they  looked  for  him  in  the  water  and  on  the  land,  Gib- 
bie was  again  in  the  room  below,  carrying  out  a  fresh  thought. 
With  the  help  of  the  table  he  emptied  the  cask,  into  which  a 
good  deal  of  water  had  got.  Then  he  took  out  the  stick,  corked 
the  bunghole  tight,  laced  the  cask  up  in  a  piece  of  net,  attached 
the  line  to  the  net  and  wound  it  about  the  cask  by  rolling  the 
latter  round  and  round,  took  the  cask  between  his  hands,  and 
pushed  from  the  window  straight  into  the  current  of  the  Glash- 
burn.  In  a  moment  it  had  swept  him  to  the  Lorrie.  By  the 
greater  rapidity  of  the  former  he  got  easily  across  the  heavier 
current  of  the  latter,  and  was  presently  in  water  comparatively 
still,  swimming  quietly  towards  the  Mains,  and  enjoying  his  trip 
none  the  less  that  he  had  to  keep  a  sharp  lookout:  if  he  should 
have  to  dive  to  avoid  any  drifting  object,  he  might  lose  his 
barrel.  Quickly  now,  had  he  been  so  minded,  he  could  have 
returned  to  the  city, —  changing  vessel  for  vessel,  as  one  after 
another  went  to  pieces.  Many  a  house  roof  offered  itself  for  the 
voyage;  now  and  then  a  great  water-wheel,  horizontal  and  help- 
less, devoured  of  its  element.  Once  he  saw  a  cradle  come  gyrat- 
ing along,  and  urging  all  his  might,  intercepted  it;  but  hardly 
knew  whether  he  was  more  sorry  or  relieved  to  find  it  empty. 
When  he  was  about  half-way  to  the  Mains,  a  whole  fleet  of  ricks 
bore  down  upon  him.  He  boarded  one,  and  scrambled  to  the  top 
of  it,  keeping  fast  hold  of  the  end  of  his  Hne,  which  unrolled 
from  the  barrel  as  he  ascended.  From  its  peak  he  surveyed  the 
wild  scene.  All  was  running  water.  Not  a  human  being  was 
visible,  and  but  a  few  house  roofs;  of  which  for  a  moment  it  was 


GEORGE  MACDONALD 


9463 


hard  to  say  whether  or  not  they  were  of  those  that  were  afloat. 
Here  and  there  were  the  tops  of  trees,  showing  like  low  bushes. 
Nothing  was  uplifted  except  the  mountains.  He  drew  near  the 
Mains.  All  the  ricks  in  the  yard  were  bobbing  about,  as  if 
amusing  themselves  with  a  slow  contra-dance ;  but  they  were  as 
yet  kept  in  by  the  barn  and  a  huge  old  hedge  of  hawthorn. 
What  was  that  cry  from  far  away  ?  Surely  it  was  that  of  a  horse 
in  danger!  It  brought  a  lusty  equine  response  from  the  farm. 
Where  could  horses  be,  with  such  a  depth  of  water  about  the 
place  ?  Then  began  a  great  lowing  of  cattle.  But  again  came 
the  cry  of  the  horse  from  afar,  and  Gibbie,  this  time  recognizing 
the  voice  as  Snowball's,  forgot  the  rest.  He  stood  up  on  the 
very  top  of  the  rick,  and  sent  his  keen  glance  round  on  all  sides. 
The  cry  came  again  and  again,  so  that  he  was  soon  satisfied  in 
what  direction  he  must  look.  The  rain  had  abated  a  little;  but 
the  air  was  so  thick  with  vapor  that  he  could  not  tell  whether  it 
was  really  an  object  he  seemed  to  see  white  against  the  brown 
water,  far  away  to  the  left,  or  a  fancy  of  his  excited  hope;  it 
might  be  Snowball  on  the  turnpike  road,  which  thereabout  ran 
along  the  top  of  a  high  embankment.  He  tumbled  from  the  rick, 
rolled  the  line  about  the  barrel,  and  pushed  vigorously  for  what 
might  be  the  horse. 

It  took  him  a  weary  hour- — -in  so  many  currents  was  he 
caught,  one  after  the  other,  all  straining  to  carry  him  far  below 
the  object  he  wanted  to  reach:  an  object  it  plainly  was,  before 
he  had  got  half-way  across;  and  by-and-by  as  plainly  it  was 
Snowball,  testified  to  ears  and  eyes  together.  When  at  length 
he  scrambled  on  the  embankment  beside  him,  the  poor  shivering, 
perishing  creature  gave  a  low  neigh  of  delight:  he  did  not  know 
Gibbie,  but  he  was  a  human  being.  He  was  quite  cowed  and 
submissive,  and  Gibbie  at  once  set  about  his  rescue.  He  had 
reasoned  as  he  came  along,  that  if  there  were  beasts  at  the 
Mains  there  must  be  room  for  Snowball,  and  thither  he  would 
endeavor  to  take  him.  He  tied  the  end  of  the  line  to  the  rem- 
nant of  the  halter  on  his  head,  the  other  end  being  still  fast  to 
the  barrel,  and  took  to  the  water  again.  Encouraged  by  the  power 
upon  his  head, —  the  pressure,  namely,  of  the  halter, — the  horse 
followed,  and  they  made  for  the  Mains.  It  was  a  long  journey, 
and  Gibbie  had  not  breath  enough  to  sing  to  Snowball,  but  he 
made  what  noises  he  could,  and  they  got  slowly  along.  He  found 
the  difficulties  far  greater  now  that  he  had  to  look  out  for  the 


9464 


•  GEORGE   MACDONALD 


horse  as  well  as  for  himself.  None  but  one  much  used  to  the 
water  could  have  succeeded  in  the  attempt,  or  could  indeed  have 
stood  out  against  its  weakening  influence  and  the  strain  of  the 
continued  exertion  together  so  long.  At  length  his  barrel  got 
waterlogged,  and  he  sent  it  adrift.  .  .  . 

When  they  arrived  at  the  door,  they  found  a  difficulty  await- 
ing them:  the  water  was  now  so  high  that  Snowball's  head  rose 
above  the  lintel;  and  though  all  animals  can  swim,  they  do  not 
all  know  how  to  dive.  A  tumult  of  suggestions  immediately  broke 
out.  But  Donal  had  already  thrown  himself  from  a  window  with 
a  rope,  and  swum  to  Gibbie's  assistance;  the  two  understood  each 
other,  and  heeding  nothing  the  rest  were  saying,  held  their  own 
communications.  In  a  minute  the  rope  was  fastened  round  Snow- 
ball's body,  and  the  end  of  it  drawn  between  his  forelegs  and 
through  the  ring  of  his  head-stall,  when  Donal  swam  with  it  to 
his  mother  who  stood  on  the  stair,  with  the  request  that  as  soon 
as  she  saw  Snowball's  head  under  the  water,  she  would  pull  with 
all  her  might,  and  draw  him  in  at  the  door.  Donal  then  swam 
back,  and  threw  his  arms  around  Snowball's  neck  from  below, 
while  the  same  moment  Gibbie  cast  his  whole  weight  on  it  from 
above:  the  horse  was  over  head  and  ears  in  an  instant,  and 
through  the  door  in  another.  With  snorting  nostrils  and  blazing 
eyes  his  head  rose  in  the  passage,  and  in  terror  he  struck  out 
for  the  stair.  As  he  scrambled  heavily  up  from  the  water,  his 
master  and  Robert  seized  him,  and  with  much  petting  and  patting 
and  gentling,  though  there  was  little  enough  difficulty  in  man- 
aging him  now,  conducted  him  into  the  bedroom  to  the  rest  of  the 
horses.  There  he  was  welcomed  by  his  companions,  and  immedi- 
ately began  devouring  the  hay  upon  his  master's  bedstead.  Gib- 
bie came  close  behind  him,  was  seized  by  Janet  at  the  top  of  the 
stair,  embraced  like  one  come  alive  from  the  grave,  and  led,  all 
dripping  as  he  was,  into  the  room  where  the  women  were. 


THE   HAY-LOFT 
From  <At  the  Back  of  the  North  Wind  > 

I   HAVE    been   asked    to   tell   you    about   the   back    of   the   North 
Wind.      An   old    Greek   writer   mentions   a   people   who   lived 
there,   and  were  so   comfortable   that   they  could   not   bear  it 
any  longer,  and  drowned  themselves.      My  story  is  not  the  same 


GEORGE  MACDONALD 

as  his.  I  do  not  think  Herodotus  had  got  the  right  account  of 
the  place.  I  am  going  to  tell  you  how  it  fared  with  a  boy  who 
went  there. 

He  lived  in  a  low  room  over  a  coach-house;  and  that  was  not 
by  any  means  at  the  back  of  the  North  Wind,  as  his  mother  very 
well  knew.  For  one  side  of  the  room  was  built  only  of  boards, 
and  the  boards  .were  so  old  that  you  might  run  a  penknife 
through  into  the  North  Wind.  And  then  let  them  settle  between 
them  which  was  the  sharper!  I  know  that  when  you  pulled  it 
out  again,  the  wind  would  be  after  it  like  a  cat  after  a  mouse, 
and  you  would  know  soon  enough  you  were  not  at  the  back  of 
the  North  Wind.  Still,  this  room  was  not  very  cold,  except  when 
the  north  wind  blew  stronger  than  usual:  the  room  I  have  to  do 
with  now  was  always  cold,  except  in  summer,  when  the  sun  took 
the  matter  into  his  own  hands.  Indeed,  I  am  not  sure  whether 
I  ought  to  call  it  a  room  at  all;  for  it  was  just  a  loft  where  they 
kept  hay  and  straw  and  oats  for  the  horses.  And  when  little 
Diamond  —  but  stop:  I  must  tell  you  that  his  father,  who  was  a 
coachman,  had  named  him  after  a  favorite  horse,  and  his  mother 
had  had  no  objection — when  little  Diamond,  then,  lay  there  in  bed, 
he  could  hear  the  horses  under  him  munching  away  in  the  dark, 
or  moving  sleepily  in  their  dreams.  For  Diamond's  father  had 
built  him  a  bed  in  the  loft  with  boards  all  round  it,  because  they 
had  so  little  room  in  their  own  end  over  the  coach-house;  and 
Diamond's  father  put  old  Diamond  in  the  stall  under  the  bed, 
because  he  was  a  quiet  •  horse,  and  did  not  go  to  sleep  standing, 
but  lay  down  like  a  reasonable  creature.  But  although  he  was  a 
surprisingly  reasonable  creature,  yet  when  young  Diamond  woke 
in  the  middle  of  the  night  and  felt  the  bed  shaking  in  the  blasts 
of  the  North  Wind,  he  could  not  help  wondering  whether,  if  the 
wind  should  blow  the  house  down,  and  he  were  to  fall  through 
into  the  manger,  old  Diamond  mightn't  eat  him  up  before  he 
knew  him  in  his  night-gown.  And  although  old  Diamond  was 
very  quiet  all  night  long,  yet  when  he  woke  he  got  up  like  an 
earthquake;  and  then  young  Diamond  knew  what  o'clock  it  was, 
or  at  least  what  was  to  be  done  next,  which  was  —  to  go  to  sleep 
again  as  fast  as  he  could. 

There  was  hay  at  his  feet  and  hay  at  his  head,  piled  up  in 
great  trusses  to  the  very  roof.  Indeed,  it  was  sometimes  only 
through  a  little  lane  with  several  turnings,  which  looked  as  if  it 
had  been  sawn  out  for  him,  that  he  could  reach  his  bed  at  all. 


GEORGE  MACDONALD 

For  the  stock  of  hay  was  of  course  always  in  a  state  either  of 
slow  ebb  or  of  sudden  flow.  Sometimes  the  whole  space  of  the 
loft,  with  the  little  panes  in  the  roof  for  the  stars  to  look  in, 
would  lie  open  before  his  open  eyes  as  he  lay  in  bed;  sometimes 
a  yellow  wall  of  sweet-smelling  fibres  closed  up  his  view  at 
the  distance  of  half  a  yard.  Sometimes  when  his  mother  had 
undressed  him  in  her  room,  and  told  him  to  trot  away  to  bed  by 
himself,  he  would  creep  into  the  heart  of  the  hay,  and  lie  there 
thinking  how  cold  it  was  outside  in  the  wind,  and  how  warm  it 
was  inside  there  in  his  bed,  and  how  he  could  go  to  it  when  he 
pleased,  only  he  wouldn't  just  yet:  he  would  get  a  little  colder 
first.  And  ever  as  he  grew  colder,  his  bed  would  grow  warmer, 
till  at  last  he  would  scramble  out  of  the  hay,  shoot  like  an  arrow 
into  his  bed,  cover  himself  up,  and  snuggle  down,  thinking  what 
a  happy  boy  he  was.  He  had  not  the  least  idea  that  the  wind 
got  in  at  a  chink  in  the  wall,  and  blew  about  him  all  night.  For 
the  back  of  his  bed  was  only  of  boards  an  inch  thick,  and  on  the 
other  side  of  them  was  the  North  Wind. 

Now,  as  I  have  already  said,  these  boards  were  soft  and 
crumbly.  To  be  sure,  they  were  tarred  on  the  outside,  yet  in 
many  places  they  were  more  like  tinder  than  timber.  Hence  it 
happened  that  the  soft  part  having  worn  away  from  about  it, 
little  Diamond  found  one  night  after  he  lay  down,  that  a  knot 
had  come  out  of  one  of  them,  and  that  the  wind  was  blowing  in 
upon  him  in  a  cold  and  rather  imperious  fashion.  Now  he  had 
no  fancy  for  leaving  things  wrong  that  might  be  set  right ;  so  he 
jumped  out  of  bed  again,  got  a  little  strike  of  hay,  twisted  it  up, 
folded  it  in  the  middle,  and  having  thus  made  it  into  a  cork, 
stuck  it  into  the  hole  in  the  wall.  But  the  wind  began  to  blow 
loud  and  angrily;  and  as  Diamond  was  'falling  asleep,  out  blew 
his  cork  and  hit  him  on  the  nose,  just  hard  enough  to  wake  him 
up  quite,  and  let  him  hear  the  wind  whistling  shrill  in  the  hole. 
He  searched  for  his  hay-cork,  found  it,  stuck  it  in  harder,  and 
was  just  dropping  off  once  more,  when,  pop!  with  an  angry 
whistle  behind  it,  the  cork  struck  him  again,  this  time  on  the 
cheek.  Up  he  rose  once  more,  made  a  fresh  stopple  of  hay,  and 
corked  the  hole  severely.  But  he  was  hardly  down  again  before 
—  pop!  it  came  on  his  forehead.  He  gave  it  up,  drew  the  clothes 
above  his  head,  and  was  soon  fast  asleep. 

Although  the  next  day  was  very  stormy,  Diamond  forgot  all 
about  the  hole;  for  he  was  busy  making  a  cave  by  the  side  of 


GEORGE  MACDONALD 


9467 


his  mother's  fire, — with  a  broken  chair,  a  three-legged  stool,  and 
a  blanket, —  and  sitting  in  it.  His  mother,  however,  discovered  it 
and  pasted  a  bit  of  brown  paper  over  it;  so  that  when  Diamond 
had  snuggled  down  for  the  next  night,  he  had  no  occasion !  to 
think  of  it. 

Presently,  however,  he  lifted  his  head  and  listened.  Who  could 
that  be  talking  to  him?  The  wind  was  rising  again,  and  getting 
very  loud,  and  full  of  rushes  and  whistles.  He  was  sure  some 
one  was  talking  —  and  very  near  him  too  it  was.  But  he  was 
not  frightened,  for  he  had  not  yet  learned  how  to  be;  so  he  sat 
up  and  hearkened.  At  last  the  voice,  which  though  quite  gentle 
sounded  a  little  angry,  appeared  to  come  from  the  back  of  the 
bed.  He  crept  nearer  to  it,  and  laid  his  ear  against  the  wall. 
Then  he  heard  nothing  but  the  wind,  which  sounded  very  loud 
indeed.  The  moment,  however,  that  he  moved  his  head  from  the 
wall  he  heard  the  voice  again,  close  to  his  •  ear.  He  felt  about 
with  his  hand,  and  came  upon  the  piece  of  paper  his  mother  had 
pasted  over  the  hole.  Against  this  he  laid  his  ear,  and  then  he 
heard  the  voice  quite  distinctly.  There  was  in  fact  a  little  cor- 
ner of  the  paper  loose ;  and  through  that,  as  from  a  mouth  in 
the  wall,  the  voice  came. 

<(What  do  you  mean,  little  boy  —  closing  up  my  window  ? " 

(<  What  window  ? "  asked  Diamond. 

<(You  stuffed  hay  into  it  three  times  last  night.  I  had  to 
blow  it  out  again  three  times." 

<(You  can't  mean  this  little  hole!  It  isn't  a  window;  it's  a 
hole  in  my  bed." 

<(  I  did  not  say  it  was  a  window :    I   said  it  was  my  window. " 

<(  But  it  can't  be  a  window,  because  windows  are  holes  to  see 
out  of." 

<(Well,  that's  just  what  I  made  this  window  for." 

(<  But  you  are  outside:    you  can't  want  a  window." 

(<You  are  quite  mistaken.  Windows  are  to  see  out  of,  you 
say.  Well,  I'm  in  my  house,  and  I  want  ,  windows  to  see  out 
of  it.» 

"But  you've  made  a  window  into  my  bed." 

(<  Well,  your  mother  has  got  three  windows  into  my  dancing- 
room,  and  you  have  three  into  my  garret." 

<(  But  I  heard  father  say,  when  my  mother  wanted  him  to 
make  a  window  through  the  wall,  that  it  was  against  the  law,, 
for  it  would  look  into  Mr.  Dyves's  garden." 


9468 


GEORGE   MACDONALD 


The  voice  laughed. 

"  The  law  would  have  some  trouble  to  catch  me !  "  it  said. 

"But  if  it's  not  right,  you  know,*  said  Diamond,  <(  that's  no 
matter.  You  shouldn't  do  it.® 

<(  I  am  so  tall  I  am  above  that  law, "  said  the  voice. 

"You  must  have  a  tall  house,  then,"  said  Diamond. 

<(Yes,  a  tall  house:  the  clouds  are  inside  it." 

<(Dear  me!"  said  Diamond,  and  thought  a  minute.  " I  think, 
then,  you  can  hardly  expect  me  to  keep  a  window  in  my  bed  for 
you.  Why  don't  you  make  a  window  into  Mr.  Dyves's  bed  ? " 

"Nobody  makes  a  window  into  an  ash-pit,"  said  the  voice 
rather  sadly :  <(  I  like  to  see  nice  things  out  of  my  windows. " 

"  But  he  must  have  a  nicer  bed  than  I  have ;  though  mine  is 
very  nice  —  so  nice  that  I  couldn't  wish  a  better." 

<( It's  not  the  bed  I  care  about:  it's  what  is  in  it.  —  But  you 
just  open  that  window." 

"Well,  mother  says  I  shouldn't  be  disobliging;  but  it's  rather 
hard.  You  see  the  north  wind  will  blow  right  in  my  face  if  I 
do." 

«I  am  the  North  Wind." 

<(  O-o-oh !  "  said  Diamond  thoughtfully.  "  Then  will  you  prom- 
ise not  to  blow  on  my  face  if  I  open  your  window  ? " 

<(  I  can't  promise  that. " 

"But  you'll  give  me  the  toothache.     Mother's  got  it  already." 

"  But  what's  to  become  of  me  without  a  window  ? " 

"  I'm  sure  I  don't  know.  All  I  say  is,  it  will  be  worse  fol 
me  than  for  you." 

"No,  it  will  not.  You  shall  not  be  the  worse  for  it  —  I  prom- 
ise you  that.  You  will  be  much  the  better  for  it.  Just  you 
believe  what  I  say,  and  do  as  I  tell  you." 

"Well,  I  can  pull  the  clothes  over  my  head,"  said  Diamond; 
and  feeling  with  his  little  sharp  nails,  he  got  hold  of  the  open 
edge  of  the  paper  and  tore  it  off  at  once. 

In  came  a  long  whistling  spear  of  cold,  and  struck  his  little 
naked  chest.  He  scrambled  and  tumbled  in  under  the  bed-clothes, 
and  covered  himself  up:  there  was  no  paper  now  between  him 
and  the  voice,  and  he  felt  a  little  —  not  frightened  exactly,  I  told 
you  he  had  not  learned  that  yet  —  but  rather  queer;  for  what  a 
strange  person  this  North  Wind  must  be  that  lived  in  the  great 
house — "called  Out-of-Doors,  I  suppose,"  thought  Diamond  —  and 
made  windows  into  people's  beds!  But  the  voice  began  again; 


GEORGE   MACDONALD 


9469 


and  he  could  hear  it  quite  plainly,  even  with  his  head  under  the 
bedclothes.  It  was  a  still  more  gentle  voice  now,  although  six 
times  as  large  and  loud  as  it  had  been,  and  he  thought  it  sounded 
a  little  like  his  mother's. 

<(  What  is  your  name,  little  boy  ? "  it  asked. 

"Diamond,"  answered  Diamond  under  the  bedclothes. 

"  What  a  funny  name ! " 

"It's  a  very  nice  name,"  returned  its  owner. 

"I  don't  know  that,"  said  the  voice. 

<(Well,  I  do,"  retorted  Diamond,  a  little  rudely. 

"  Do  you  know  to  whom  you  are  speaking  ? " 

"No,"  said  Diamond. 

And  indeed  he  did  not.  For  to  know  a  person's  name  is  not 
always  to  know  the  person's  self. 

"Then  I  must  not  be  angry  with  you. — You  had  better  look 
and  see,  though." 

(<  Diamond  is  a  very  pretty  name, "  persisted  the  boy,  vexed 
that  it  should  not  give  satisfaction. 

((  Diamond  is  a  useless  thing,  rather,"  said  the  voice. 

<(  That's  not  true.  Diamond  is  very  nice  —  as  big  as  two  —  and 
so  quiet  all  night!  And  doesn't  he  make  a  jolly  row  in  the  morn- 
ing, getting  up  on  his  four  great  legs!  It's  like  thunder." 

"You  don't  seem  to  know  what  a  diamond  is." 

(<  Oh,  don't  I  just!  Diamond  is  a  great  and  good  horse;  and 
he  sleeps  right  under  me.  He  is  Old  Diamond,  and  I  am  Young 
Diamond;  or  if  you  like  it  better, — for  you're  very  particular, 
Mr.  North  Wind, — he's  Big  Diamond,  and  I'm  Little  Diamond: 
and  I  don't  know  which  of  us  my  father  likes  best." 

A  beautiful  laugh,  large  but  very  soft  and  musical,  sounded 
somewhere  beside  him;  but  Diamond  kept  his  head  under  the 
clothes. 

<(I'm  not  Mr.   North  Wind,"  said  the  voice. 

<(  You  told  me  that  you  were  the  North  Wind,  *  insisted  Dia- 
mond. 

"I  did  not  say  Mister  North  Wind,"  said  the  voice. 

"Well  then,  I  do;    for  mother  tells  me  I  ought  to  be  polite." 

"Then  let  me  tell  you  I  don't  think  it  at  all  polite  of  you  to 
say  Mister  to  me." 

"Well,  I  didn't  know  better.     I'm  very  sorry.0 

"But  you  .ought  to  know  better." 

"  I  don't  know  that." 


9470 


GEORGE  MACDONALD 


<(  I  do.  You  can't  say  it's  polite  to  lie  there  talking,  with 
your  head  under  the  bedclothes,  and  never  look  up  to  see  what 
kind  of  person  you  are  talking  to.  I  want  you  to  come  out  with 
me." 

<(  I  want  to  go  to  sleep, "  said  Diamond,  very  nearly  crying; 
for  he  did  not  like  to  be  scolded,  even  when  he  deserved  it. 

<(You  shall  sleep  all  the  better  to-morrow  night." 

<(  Besides, "  said  Diamond,  (<  you  are  out  in  Mr.  Dyves's  gar- 
den, and  I  can't  get  there.  I  can  only  get  into  our  own  yard." 

<(  Will  you  take  your  head  out  of  the  bedclothes  ? "  said  the 
voice,  just  a  little  angrily. 

"No!"  answered  Diamond,  half  .peevish,  half  frightened. 

The  instant  he  said  the  word,  a  tremendous  blast  of  wind 
crashed  in  a  board  of  the  wall,  and  swept  the  clothes  off  Dia- 
mond. He  started  up  in  terror.  Leaning  over  him  was  the  large, 
beautiful,  pale  face  of  a  woman.  Her  dark  eyes  looked  a  little 
angry,  for  they  had  just  begun  to  flash;  but  a  quivering  in  her 
sweet  upper  lip  made  her  look  as  if  she  were  going  to  cry. 
What  was  most  strange  was  that  away  from  her  head  streamed 
out  her  black  hair  in  every  direction,  so  that  the  darkness  in  the 
hay-loft  looked  as  if  it  were  made  of  her  hair;  but  as  Diamond 
gazed  at  her  in  speechless  amazement,  mingled  with  confidence, 
—  for  the  boy  was  entranced  with  her  mighty  beauty, — her  hair 
began  to  gather  itself  out  of  the  darkness,  and  fell  down  all 
about  her  again,  till  her  face  looked  'out  of  the  midst  of  it  like  a 
moon  out  of  a  cloud.  From  her  eyes  came  all  the  light  by  which 
Diamond  saw  her  face  and  her  hair;  and  that  was  all  he  did  see 
of  her  yet.  The  wind  was  over  and  gone. 

<(  Will  you  go  with  me  now,  you  little  Diamond  ?  I  am  sorry 
I  was  forced  to  be  so  rough  with  you,"  said  the  lady. 

"  I  will ;  yes,  I  will, "  answered  Diamond,  holding  out  both  his 
arms.  "But,"  he  added,  dropping  them,  <(how  shall  I  get  my 
clothes?  They  are  in  mother's  room,  and  the  door  is  locked." 

"Oh,  never  mind  your  clothes.  You  will  not  be  cold.  I  shall 
take  care  of  that.  Nobody  is  cold  with  the  North  Wind." 

(( I  thought  everybody  was, "  said  Diamond. 

"That  is  a  great  mistake.  Most  people  make  it,  however. 
They  are  cold  because  they  are  not  with  the  North  Wind,  but 
without  it." 

If  Diamond  had  been  a  little  older,  and  had  supposed  himself 
a  good  deal  wiser,  he  would  have  thought  the  lady  was  joking. 


GEORGE   MACDONALD 


9471 


But  he  was  not  older,  and  did  not  fancy  himself  wiser,  and  there- 
fore understood  her  well  enough.  Again  he  stretched  out  his 
arms.  The  lady's  face  drew  back  a  little. 

(<  Follow  me,  Diamond,"  she  said. 

"Yes,"  said  Diamond,  only  a  little  ruefully. 

(<  You're  not  afraid  ? "    said  the  North  Wind. 

<(No,  ma'am:  but  mother  never  would  let  me  go  without 
shoes;  she  never  said  anything  about  clothes,  so  I  daresay  she 
wouldn't  mind  that." 

(<  I  know  your  mother  very  well, "  said  the  lady.  <(  She  is  a 
good  woman.  I  have  visited  her  often.  I  was  with  her  when 
you  were  born.  I  saw  her  laugh  and  cry  both  at  once.  I  love 
your  mother,  Diamond." 

(<  How  was  it  you  did  not  know  my  name,  then,  ma'am  ? 
Please,  am  I  to  say  ma'am  to  you,  ma'am  ? " 

<(One  question  at  a  time,  dear  boy.  I  knew  your  name  quite 
well,  but  I  wanted  to  hear  what  you  would  say  for  it.  Don't 
you  remember  that  day  when  the  man  was  rinding  fault  with 
your  name  —  how  I  blew  the  window  in  ? " 

<(  Yes,  yes, "  answered  Diamond  eagerly.  <(  Our  window  opens 
like  a  door,  right  over  the  coach-house  door.  And  the  wind  — 
you,  ma'am  —  came  in,  and  blew  the  Bible  out  of  the  man's 
hands,  and  the  leaves  went  all  flutter-flutter  on  the  floor,  and 
my  mother  picked  it  up  and  gave  it  back  to  him  open,  and 
there  —  " 

(<Was  your  name  in  the  Bible  —  the  sixth  stone  in  the  high- 
priest's  breast-plate. " 

<(Oh!  a  stone,  was  it?"  said  Diamond.  <(  I  thought  it  had 
been  a  horse  —  I  did." 

"Never  mind.  A  horse  is  better  than  a  stone  any  day.  Well, 
you  see,  I  know  all  about  you  and  your  mother." 

"  Yes.     I  will  go  with  you. " 

(<Now  for  the  next  question:  you're  not  to  call  me  ma'am. 
You  must  call  me  just  my  own  name  —  respectfully,  you  know  — 
just  North  Wind." 

"Well,  please,  North  Wind,  you  are  so  beautiful,  I  am  quite 
ready  to  go  with  you." 

<(You  must  not  be  ready  to  go  with  everything  beautiful  all 
at  once,  Diamond." 

"But  what's  beautiful  can't  be  bad.  You're  not  bad,  North 
Wind  ? » 


GEORGE   MACDONALP 

<(No;  I'm  not  bad.  But  sometimes  beautiful  things  grow  bad 
by  doing  bad,  and  it  takes  some  time  for  their  badness  to  spoil 
their  beauty.  So  little  boys  may  be  mistaken  if  they  go  after 
things  because  they  are  beautiful. >} 

<(Well,  I  will  go  with  you  because  you  are  beautiful  and  good 
too. }) 

(<Ah,  but  there's  another  thing,  Diamond:  What  if  I  should 
look  ugly  without  being  bad  —  look  ugly  myself  because  I  am 
making  ugly  things  beautiful  ?  —  what  then  ? }) 

a  I  don't  quite  understand  you,  North  Wind.  You  tell  me 
what  then." 

<(Well,  I  will  tell  you.  If  you  see  me  with  my  face  all  black, 
don't  be  frightened.  If  you  see  me  flapping  wings  like  a  bat's, 
as  big  as  the  whole  sky,  don't  be  frightened.  If  you  hear  me 
raging  ten  times  worse  than  Mrs.  Bill,  the  blacksmith's  wife, — 
even  if  you  see  me  looking  in  at  people's  windows  like  Mrs.  Eve 
Dropper,  the  gardener's  wife, —  you  must  believe  that  I  am  doing 
my  work.  Nay,  Diamond,  if  I  change  into  a  serpent  or  a  tiger, 
you  must  not  let  go  your  hold  of  me,  for  my  hand  will  never 
change  in  yours  if  you  keep  a  good  hold.  If  you  keep  a  hold, 
you  will  know  who  I  am  all  the  time,  even  when  you  look  at 
me  and  can't  see  me  the  least  like  the  North  Wind.  I  may 
look  something  very  awful.  Do  you  understand  ?  w 

"Quite  well,0  said  little  Diamond. 

"Come  along  then,"  said  North  Wind,  and  disappeared  behind 
the  mountain  of  hay. 

Diamond  crept  out  of  bed  and  followed  her. 


9473 


JEAN   MACE 

(1815-1894) 

JEAN  MACE  was  a  benign  child-lover,  and  never  lost  the 
childlike  simplicity  and  zest  in  life  which  characterize  his 
style.  He  was  born  in  Paris  in  1815;  and  his  parents,  plain 
working-people  who  were  ambitious  for  their  boy,  gave  him  unusual 
advantages  for  one  of  his  class.  His  course  at  the  College  Stanilaus 
was  not  completed  without  self-sacrifice  at  home  which  made  him 
prize  and  improve  his  opportunities.  At 
twenty-one  he  became  instructor  in  history 
in  the  same  college,  and  he  was  teaching 
in  the  College  Henri  IV.,  when  he  was 
drafted  as  a  soldier.  After  three  years' 
service  he  was  bought  out  by  his  friend 
and  former  professor  M.  Burette,  whose  pri- 
vate secretary  he  became.  Always  inter- 
ested in  politics,  and  an  ardent  republican, 
he  welcomed  the  revolution  of  1848  with 
an  enthusiasm  which  involved  him  in  diffi- 
culties a  few  years  later.  With  the  restor- 
ation of  the  Empire  under  Louis  Napoleon 
he  was  banished;  and  in  exile,  at  the  age  of 
thirty-seven,  he  discovered  his  true  vocation. 

The  (<  Little  Chateau, })  at  Beblenheim  in  Alsace,  was  a  private 
school  for  girls,  kept  by  his  friend  Mademoiselle  Verenet,  who  now 
offered  Mace  a  position  as  teacher  of  natural  science  and  literature. 
He  loved  to  teach,  loved  to  impart  fact  so  that  it  might  exercise  a 
moral  influence  upon  character;  and  he  was  very  happy  in  the  calmly 
busy  life  at  Beblenheim,  where,  as  he  says,  <(I  was  at  last  in  my 
true  calling. }> 

In  1 86 1  he  published  the  (Histoire  d'une  Bouchee  de  Pain,' —  a 
simple  yet  comprehensive  work  on  physiology,  made  as  delightful  as 
a  story-book  to  child  readers.  Its  wide  popularity  both  in  French, 
and  in  an  English  translation  as  (  The  Story  of  a  Mouthful  of  Bread,  > 
prompted  a  sequel,  < Les  Serviteurs  de  1'Estomac  >  (The  Servants  of 
the  Stomach),  also  very  successful.  But  the  <  Contes  du  Petit  Cha- 
teau, >  a  collection  of  charming  fairy  tales  written  for  his  little  pupils, 
is  Mace's  masterpiece.  These  stories  are  simple  lessons  in  thrift, 


JEAN  MAC£ 


9474  JEAN  MACfi 

truth,  and  generosity,  inculcated  with  dramatic  force  and  imaginat- 
ive vigor.  Translated  as  ( Home  Fairy  Tales,  y  they  have  long  been 
familiar  to  English  and  American  children. 

After  ten  years  at  Beblenheim,  Mace  returned  to  Paris,  where  in 
company  with  Stahl  he  established  the  popular  Magasin  d'Education 
et  de  Recreation.  One  of  his  strongest  desires  had  always  been  to 
extend  educational  influences;  and  for  this  purpose  he  established  in 
1863  the  Societe  des  Bibliotheques  Communales  du  Haut  Rhin,  and 
later  organized  a  League  of  Instruction  for  increasing  the  number  of 
schools  and  libraries.  He  died  in  1894. 


THE  NECKLACE   OF  TRUTH 

From  <  Mace's  Fairy  Book.*     Translated  by  Mary  L.  Booth,  and  published  by 

Harper  &  Brothers 

THERE  was  once  a  little  girl  by  the  name  of  Coralie,  who  took 
pleasure  in  telling  falsehoods.  Some  children  think  very 
little  of  not  speaking  the  truth;  and  a  small  falsehood,  or  a 
great  one  in  case  of  necessity,  that  saves  them  from  a  duty  or 
a  punishment,  procures  them  a  pleasure,  or  gratifies  their  self-love, 
seems  to  them  the  most  allowable  thing  in  the  world.  Now 
Coralie  was  one  of  this  sort.  The  truth  was  a  thing  of  which 
she  had  no  idea;  and  any  excuse  was  good  to  her,  provided  that  it 
was  believed.  Her  parents  were  for  a  long  time  deceived  by  her 
stories;  but  they  saw  at  last  that  she  was  telling  them  what  was 
not  true,  and  from  that  moment  they  had  not  the  least  confidence 
in  anything  that  she  said. 

It  is  a  terrible  thing  for  parents  not  to  be  able  to  believe 
their  children's  words.  It  would  be  better  almost  to  have  no 
children;  for  the  habit  of  lying,  early  acquired,  may  lead  them 
in  after  years  to  the  most  shameful  crimes:  and  what  parent  can 
help  trembling  at  the  thought  that  he  may  be  bringing  up  his 
children  to  dishonor  ? 

After  vainly  trying  every  means  to  reform  her,  Coralie's  par- 
ents resolved  to  take  her  to  the  enchanter  Merlin,  who  was  cele- 
brated at  that  time  over  all  the  globe,  and  who  was  the  greatest 
friend  of  truth  that  ever  lived.  For  this  reason,  little  children 
that  were  in  the  habit  of  telling  falsehoods  were  brought  to  him 
from  all  directions,  in  order  that  he  might  cure  them. 

The  enchanter  Merlin  lived  in  a  glass  palace,  the  walls  of 
which  were  transparent;  and  never  in  his  whole  life  had  the 


JEAN  MACE  9475 

idea  crossed  his  mind  of  disguising  one  of  his  actions,  of  causing 
others  to  believe  what  was  not  true,  or  even  of  suffering  them 
to  believe  it  by  being  silent  when  he  might  have  spoken.  He 
knew  liars  by  their  odor  a  league  off;  and  when  Coralie  ap- 
proached the  palace,  he  was  obliged  to  burn  vinegar  to  prevent 
himself  from  being  ill. 

Coralie 's  mother,  with  a  beating  heart,  undertook  to  explain 
the  vile  disease  which  had  attacked  her  daughter;  and  blushingly 
commenced  a  confused  speech,  rendered  misty  by  shame,  when 
Merlin  stopped  her  short. 

(<  I  know  what  is  the  matter,  my  good  lady,"  said  he.  <(  I  felt 
your  daughter's  approach  long  ago.  She  is  one  of  the  greatest 
liars  in  the  world,  and  she  has  made  me  very  uncomfortable. }) 

The  parents  perceived  that  fame  had  not  deceived  them  in 
praising  the  skill  of  the  enchanter;  and  Coralie,  covered  with 
confusion,  knew  not  where  to  hide  her  head.  She  took  refuge 
under  the  apron  of  her  mother,  who  sheltered  her  as  well  as  she 
could,  terrified  at  the  turn  affairs  were  taking,  while  her  father 
stood  before  her  to  protect  her  at  all  risks.  They  were  very 
anxious  that  their  child  should  be  cured,  but  they  wished  her 
cured  gently  and  without  hurting  her. 

(<  Don't  be  afraid, >}  said  Merlin,  seeing  their  terror:  (<  I  do  not 
employ  violence  in  curing  these  diseases.  I  am  only  going  to 
make  Coralie  a  beautiful  present,  which  I  think  will  not  displease 
her.» 

He  opened  a  drawer,  and  took  from  it  a  magnificent  amethyst 
necklace,  beautifully  set,  with  a  diamond  clasp  of  dazzling  lustre. 
He  put  it  on  Coralie's  neck,  and  dismissing  the  parents  with  a 
friendly  gesture,  <(  Go,  good  people, >}  said  he,  <(  and  have  no  more 
anxiety.  Your  daughter  carries  with  her  a  sure  guardian  of  the 
truth. » 

Coralie,  flushed  with  pleasure,  was  hastily  retreating,  delighted 
at  having  escaped  so  easily,  when  Merlin  called  her  back. 

(<  In  a  year, })  said  he,  looking  at  her  sternly,  <(  I  shall  come 
for  my  necklace.  Till  that  time  I  forbid  you  to  take  it  off  for  a 
single  instant :  if  you  dare  to  do  so,  woe  be  unto  you ! w 

<(Oh,  I  ask  nothing  better  than  always  to  wear  it, — it  is  so 
beautiful. » 

In  order  that  you  may  know,  I  will  tell  you  that  this  neck- 
lace was  none  other  than  the  famous  Necklace  of  Truth,  so  much 
talked  of  in  ancient  books,  which  unveiled  every  species  of  false- 
hood. 


9476  JEAN   MACE 

The  day  after  Coralie  returned  home  she  was  sent  to  school. 
As  she  had  long  been  absent,  all  the  little  girls  crowded  round 
her,  as  always  happens  in  such 'cases.  There  was  a  general  cry 
of  admiration  at  the  sight  of  the  necklace. 

"Where  did  it  come  from?"  and  "where  did  you  get  it  ?"  was 
asked  on  all  sides. 

In  thos  »  days,  for  any  one  to  say  that  he  had  been  to  the 
enchanter  Merlin's  was  to  tell  the  whole  story,  Coralie  took 
good  care  not  to  betray  herself  in  this  way. 

"I  was  sick  for  a  long  time,"  said  she,  boldly;  "and  on  my 
recovery  my  parents  gave  me  this  beautiful  necklace." 

A  loud- cry  rose  from  all  at  once.  The  diamonds  of  the  clasp, 
which  had  shot  forth  so  brilliant  a  light,  had  suddenly  become  dim, 
and  were  turned  to  coarse  glass. 

"Well,  yes,  I  have  been  sick!  What  are  you  making  such  a  fuss 
about?" 

At  this  second  falsehood,  the  amethysts  in  turn  changed  to  ugly 
yellow  stones.  A  new  cry  arose.  Coralie,  seeing  all  eyes  fixed 
on  her  necklace,  looked  that  way  herself,  and  was  struck  with 
terror. 

"  I  have  been  to  the  enchanter  Merlin's,"  said  she,  humbly, 
understanding  from  what  direction  the  blow  came,  and  not  daring 
to  persist  in  her  falsehood. 

Scarcely  had  she  confessed  the  truth  when  the  necklace  recov- 
ered all  its  beauty;  but  the  loud  bursts  of  laughter  that  sounded 
around  her  mortified  her  to  such  a  degree  that  she  felt  the  need 
of  saying  something  to  retrieve  her  reputation. 

"You  do  very  wrong  to  laugh,"  said  she,  "for  he  treated  us 
with  the  greatest  possible  respect.  He  sent  his  carriage  to  meet 
us  at  the  next  town,  and  you  have  no  idea  what  a  splendid  car- 
riage it  was, — six  white  horses,  pink  satin  cushions  with  gold 
tassels,  to  say  nothing  of  the  negro  coachman  with  his  hair  pow- 
dered, and  the  three  tall  footmen  behind!  When  we  reached  his 
palace,  which  is  all  of  jasper  and  porphyry,  he  came  to  meet  us 
at  the  vestibule,  and  led  us  to  the  dining-room,  where  stood  a 
table  covered  with  things  that  I  will  not  name  to  you,  because 
you  never  even  heard  speak  of  them.  There  was,  in  the  first 
place—" 

The  laughter,  which  had  been  suppressed  with  great  difficulty 
ever  since  she  commenced  this  fine  story,  became  at  that  mo- 
ment so  boisterous  that  she  stopped  in  amazement;  and  casting 
her  eyes  once  more  on  the  unlucky  necklace,  she  shuddered 


JEAN    MACE  9477 

anew.  At  each  detail  that  she  had  invented,  the  necklace  had 
become  longer  and  longer,  until  it  already  dragged  on  the  ground. 

(<You  are  stretching  the  truth, yy  cried  the  little  girls. 

"Well,  I  confess  it:  we  went  on  foot,  and  only  stayed  five 
minutes. " 

The  necklace  instantly  shrunk  to  its  proper  size. 

"And  the  necklace  —  the  necklace  —  where  did  it  come  from?* 

"He  gave  it  to  me  without  saying  a  word;  probabl — " 

She  had  not  time  to  finish.  -The  fatal  necklace  grew  shorter 
and  shorter  till  it  choked  her  terribly,  and  she  gasped  for  want 
of  breath. 

<(  You  are  keeping  back  part  of  the  truth, "  cried  her  school- 
fellows. 

She  hastened  to  alter  the  broken  words  while  she  could  still 
speak. 

((  He  said  —  that  I  was  —  one  of  the  greatest  —  liars  —  in  the 
world. " 

Instantly  freed  from  the  pressure  that  was  strangling  her,  she 
continued  to  cry  with  pain  and  mortification. 

<(  That  was  why  he  gave  me  the  necklace.  He  said  that  it 
was  a  guardian  of  the  truth,  and  I  have  been  a  great  fool  to  be 
proud  of  it.  Now  I  am  in  a  fine  position ! " 

Her  little  companions  had  compassion  on  her  grief;  for  they 
were  good  girls,  and  they  reflected  how  they  should  feel  in  her 
place.  You  can  imagine,  indeed,  that  it  was  somewhat  embar- 
rassing for  a  girl  to  know  that  she  could  never  more  pervert  the 
truth. 

"You  are  very  good,"  said  one  of  them.  "If  I  were  in  your 
place,  I  should  soon  send  back  the  necklace:  handsome  as  it  is, 
it  is  a  great  deal  too  troublesome.  What  hinders  you  from  tak- 
ing it  off?" 

Poor  Coralie  was  silent;  but  the  stones  began  to  dance  up  and 
down,  and  to  make  a  terrible  clatter. 

<c  There  is  something  that  you  have  not  told  us,"  said  the  little 
girls,  their  merriment  restored  by  this  extraordinary  dance. 

"  I  like  to  wear  it.  " 

The  diamonds  and  amethysts  danced  and  clattered  worse  than 
ever. 

"There  is  a  reason  which  you  are  hiding  from  us." 

"Well,  since  I  can  conceal  nothing  from  you,  he  forbade  me 
to  take  it  off,  under  penalty  of  some  great  calamity." 


9478  JEAN 

You  can  imagine  that  with  a  companion  of  this  kind,  which 
turned  dull  whenever  the  wearer  did  not  tell  the  truth,  which 
grew  longer  whenever  she  added  to  it,  which  shrunk  whenever 
she  subtracted  from  it,  and  which  danced  and  clattered  whenever 
she  was  silent, —  a  companion,  moreover,  of  which  she  could  not 
rid  herself, —  it  was  impossible  even  for  the  most  hardened  liar 
not  to  keep  closely  to  the  truth.  When  Coralie  once  was  fully 
convinced  that  falsehood  was  useless,  and  that  it  would  be  in- 
stantly discovered,  it  was  not  difficult  for  her  to  abandon  it.  The 
consequence  was,  that  when  she  became  accustomed  always  to 
tell  the  truth,  she  found  herself  so  happy  in  it  —  she  felt  her 
conscience  so  light  and  her  mind  so  calm  —  that  she  began  to 
abhor  falsehood  for  its  own  sake,  and  the  necklace  had  nothing 
more  to  do.  Long  before  the  year  had  passed,  therefore,  Merlin 
came  for  his  necklace,  which  he  needed  for  another  child  that 
was  addicted  to  lying,  and  whioh,  thanks  to  his  art,  he  knew 
was  of  no  more  use  to  Coralie. 

No  one  can  tell  me  what  has  become  of  this  wonderful  Neck- 
lace of  Truth;  but  it  is  thought  that  'Merlin's  heirs  hid  it  after 
his  death,  for  fear  of  the  ravages  that  it  might  cause  on  earth. 
You  can  imagine  what  a  calamity  it  would  be  to  many  people  — 
I  do  not  speak  only  of  children  —  if  they  were  forced  to  wear  it. 
Some  travelers  who  have  returned  from  Central  Africa  declare 
that  they  have  seen  it  on  the  neck  of  a  negro  king,  who  knew 
not  how  to  lie;  but  they  have  never  been  able  to  prove  their 
words.  Search  is  still  being  made  for  it,  however;  and  if  I  were 
a  little  child  in  the  habit  of  telling  falsehoods,  I  should  not  feel 
quite  sure  that  it  might  not  some  day  be  found  again. 


MACHIAVELLI 


9479 


NICCOLO   MACHIAVELLI 

(1469-1527) 

BY   CHARLES   P.  NEILL 

IICCOLO  MACHIAVELLI,  perhaps  the  greatest  prose  writer  of  the 
Italian  Renaissance,  was  born  in  Florence  May  3d,  1469,  and 
died  there  June  22d,  1527.  He  was  of  ancient  and  distin- 
guished lineage  on  both  his  father's  and  his  mother's  side,  and  many 
of  his  more  immediate  ancestors  had  been  honored  by  republican 
Florence  with  high  offices  of  State.  His  father  Bernardo  was  a  re- 
spectable jurist,  who  to  a  moderate  income  from  his  profession  added 
a  small  revenue  from  some  landed  possessions.  His  mother  was  a 
woman  of  culture,  and  a  poet  of  some  ability. 

Of  Niccolo's  early  life  and  education  we  know  nothing.  No  trace 
of  him  remains  previous  to  his  twenty-sixth  year.  But  of  his  times 
and  the  scenes  amid  which  he  grew  up,  we  know  much.  It  was  the 
calm  but  demoralizing  era  of  Lorenzo  the  Magnificent,  when  the 
sturdy  Florentine  burghers  rested  satisfied  with  magnificence  in  lieu 
of  freedom,  and,  intoxicated  with  the  spirit  of  a  pagan  renaissance, 
abandoned  themselves  to  the  refinements  of  pleasure  and  luxury;  — 
when  their  streets  had  ceased  for  a  while  to  re-echo  with  the  clash 
of  steel  and  the  fierce  shouts  of  contending  factions,  and  resounded 
with  the  productions  of  Lorenzo's  melodious  but  indecent  Muse. 
Machiavelli  was  a  true  child  of  his  time.  He  too  was  thoroughly 
imbued  with  the  spirit  of  the  Renaissance;  and  looked  back,  fasci- 
nated, on  the  ideals  of  that  ancient  world  that  was  being  revivified 
for  the  men  of  his  day.  But  philosophy,  letters,  and  art  were  not  the 
only  heritage  that  the  bygone  age  had  handed  down;  politics  —  the 
building  of  States  and  of  empire  —  this  also  had  engaged  the  minds 
of  the  men  of  that  age,  and  it  was  this  aspect  of  their  activity  that 
fired  the  imagination  of  the  young  Florentine.  From  his  writings  we 
know  he  was  widely  read  in  the  Latin  and  Italian  classics.  But  Vir- 
gil and  Horace  appealed  to  him  less  than  Livy,  and  Dante  the  poet 
was  less  to  him  than  Dante  the  politician;  for  he  read  his  classics, 
not  as  others,  to  drink  in  their  music  or  be  led  captive  by  their 
beauty,  but  to  derive  lessons  in  statecraft,  and  penetrate  into  the 
secrets  of  the  successful  empire-builders  of  the  past.  It  is  equally 


9480 


NICCOLO  MACHIAVELLI 


certain,  from  a  study  of  his  works,  that  he  had  not  mastered  Greek. 
Like  Ariosto,  Machiavelli  was  indebted  for  his  superb  literary  tech- 
nique solely  to  the  study  of  the  literature  of  his  own  nation. 

With  the  expulsion  of  the  Medici  from  Florence,  Machiavelli,  at 
the  age  of  thirty,  emerged  from  obscurity  to  play  a  most  important 
role  in  the  Florentine  politics  of  the  succeeding  decade  and  a  half. 
In  1498  he  was  elected  secretary  to  the  Ten  of  War  and  Peace, —  a 
commission  performing  the  functions  of  a  ministry  of  war  and  of 
home  affairs,  and  having  in  addition  control  of  the  Florentine  diplo- 
matic service.  From  1498  to  1512  Machiavelli  was  a  zealous,  patriotic, 
and  indefatigable  servant  of  the  republic.  His  energy  was  untiring, 
his  activity  ceaseless  and  many-sided.  He  conducted  the  voluminous 
diplomatic  correspondence  devolving  upon  his  bureau,  drew  up  me- 
morials and  plans  in  affairs  of  State  for  the  use  and  guidance  of  the 
Ten,  undertook  the  reorganization  of  the  Florentine  troops,  and  went 
himself  on  a  constant  succession  of  embassies,  ranging  in  importance 
from  those  to  petty  Italian  States  up  to  those  to  the  court  of  France 
and  of  the  Emperor.  He  was  by  nature  well  adapted  to  the  peculiar 
needs  of  the  diplomacy  of  that  day;  and  the  training  he  received  in 
that  school  must  in  turn  have  reacted  on  him  to  confirm  his  native 
bent,  and  accentuate  it  until  it  became  the  distinguishing  character- 
istic of  the  man.  His  first  lessons  in  politics  and  statecraft  were 
derived  from  Livy's  history  of  the  not  over-scrupulous  Romans;  and 
when  he  comes  to  take  his  lessons  at  first  hand,  it  is  in  the  midst 
of  the  intrigues  of  republican  Florence,  or  at  the  court  of  a  Caterina 
Sforza,  or  in  the  camp  of  a  Cesare  Borgia.  Small  wonder  that  his 
conception  of  politics  should  have  omitted  to  take  account  of  hon- 
esty and  the  moral  law;  and  that  he  conceived  <(the  idea  of  giving 
to  politics  an  assured  and  scientific  basis,  treating  them  as  having 
a  proper  and  distinct  value  of  their  own,  entirely  apart  from  their 
moral  value. }> 

During  this  period  of  his  political  activity,  we  have  a  large  num- 
ber of  State  papers  and  private  letters  from  his  pen;  and  two  works 
of  literary  cast  have  also  come  down  to  us.  These  are  his  ( Decen- 
nale  * :  historic  narratives,  cast  into  poetic  form,  of  Italian  events. 
The  first  treats  of  the  decade  beginning  1494;  and  the  second,  an 
unfinished  fragment,  of  the  decade  beginning  1504.  They  are  written 
in  easy  terzine;  and  unfeigned  sorrow  for  the  miseries  of  Italy,  torn 
by  internal  discord,  alternates  with  cynical  mockery  and  stinging  wit. 
They  are  noteworthy  as  expressing  the  sentiment  for  a  united  Italy. 
A  third  literary  work  of  this  period  has  been  lost:  (Le  Maschere,*  a 
satire  modeled  upon  the  comedies  of  Aristophanes. 

When  in  1512,  after  their  long  exile,  the  Medici  returned  to  Flor- 
ence in  the  train  of  her  invader,  Machiavelli,  though  not  unwilling 


NICCOLO  MACHIAVELLI 

to  serve  the  restored  rulers,  was  dismissed  from  his  office  and  ban- 
ished for  a  year  from  the  confines  of  the  city.  Later,  on  suspicion 
of  being  concerned  in  a  plot  against  the  Medici,  he  was  thrown  into 
prison  and  tortured.  He  was  soon  afterward  included  in  a  gen- 
eral pardon  granted  by  the  Cardinal  de'  Medici,  then  become  Leo 
X.  But  notwithstanding  Machiavelli's  earnest  and  persistent  efforts 
to  win  the  good  graces  of  the  ruling  family,  he  did  not  return  to 
public  life  until  1525;  and  this  interval  of  enforced  leisure  from 
affairs  of  State  was  the  period  of  his  literary  activity.  A  number  of 
comedies,  minor  poems,  and  short  prose  compositions  did  not  rise 
above  mediocrity.  They  were  for  the  most  part  translations  from 
the  classics,  or  imitations;  and  the  names  are  hardly  worth  recount- 
ing. But  in  one  dramatic  effort  he  rose  to  the  stature  of  genius. 
His  ( Mandragola  >  achieved  a  flattering  success  both  at  Rome  and  in 
Florence.  It  has  been  pronounced  the  finest  comedy  of  the  Italian 
stage,  and  Macaulay  rated  it  as  inferior  only  to  the  greatest  of 
Moliere's.  In  its  form,  its  spontaneity,  vivacity,  and  wit,  it  is  not 
surpassed  by  Shakespeare;  but  it  is  a  biting  satire  on  religion  and 
morality,  with  not  even  a  hint  of  a  moral  to  redeem  it.  Vice  is 
made  humorous,  and  virtue  silly ;  its  satire  is  (<  deep  and  murderous >} ; 
and  its  plot  too  obscene  to  be  narrated.  In  it  Machiavelli  has  har- 
nessed Pegasus  to  a  garbage  cart. 

His  lesser  prose  works  are  —  the  (Life  of  Castruccio  Castracani,' 
a  <(  politico-military  romance  })  made  up  partly  from  incidents  in  the 
life  of  that  hero,  and  partly  from  incidents  taken  from  Diodorus  Sicu- 
lus's  life  of  Agathocles,  and  concluding  with  a  series  of  memorable 
sayings  attributed  to  Castruccio,  but  taken  from  the  apophthegms  of 
Plutarch  and  Diogenes  Laertius;  and  the  (Art  of  War,*  a  treatise 
anticipating  much  of  our  modern  tactics,  and  inveighing  against  the 
mediaeval  system  of  mercenary  troops  of  mail-clad  men  and  horses. 
A  more  ambitious  undertaking,  and  in  fact  his  largest  work,  is  the 
<  History  of  Florence.*  At  the  suggestion  of  the  Cardinal  de'  Medici, 
the  directors  of  the  studio  of  Florence  commissioned  Machiavelli  to 
employ  himself  in  writing  a  history  of  Florence,  (( from  whatever 
period  he  might  think  fit  to  select,  and  either  in  the  Latin  or  the 
Tuscan  tongue,  according  to  his  taste. »  He  was  to  receive  one  hun- 
dred florins  a  year  for  two  years  to  enable  him  to  pursue  the  work. 
He  chose  his  native  tongue;  and  revised  and  polished  his  work  until 
it  became  a  model  of  style,  and  in  its  best  passages  justifies  his  claim 
to  the  title  of  the  best  and  most  finished  of  Italian  prose  writers. 
He  thus  describes  the  luring  of  Giuliano  de'  Medici  to  his  place  of 
assassination:  — 

<(This  arrangement  having  been  determined  upon,  they  went  into  the 
church,  where  the  Cardinal  had  already  arrived  with  Lorenzo  de'  Medici.  The 


9482 


NICCOLO  MACHIAVELLI 


church  was  crowded  with  people,  and  divine  service  had  already  commenced; 
but  Giuliano  had  not  yet  come.  Francesco  dei  Pazzi,  therefore,  together  with 
Bernardo,  who  had  been  designated  to  kill  Giuliano,  went  to  his  house,  and  by 
artful  persuasion  induced  him  to  go  to  the  church.  It  is  really  a  noteworthy 
fact  that  so  much  hatred  and  the  thoughts  of  so  great  an  outrage  could  be 
concealed  under  so  much  resoluteness  of  heart,  as  was  the  case  with  Francesco 
and  Bernardo;  for  on  the  way  to  church,  and  even  after  having  entered  it,  they 
entertained  him  with  merry  jests  and  youthful  chatter.  And  Francesco,  even, 
under  pretense  of  caressing  him,  felt  him  with  his  hands  and  pressed  him  in 
his  arms,  for  the  purpose  of  ascertaining  whether  he  wore  a  cuirass  or  any 
other  means  of  protection  under  his  garments. }) 

But  though  Machiavelli  had  the  historical  style,  he  lacked  histori- 
cal perspective;  he  arranged  his  matter  not  according  to  objective 
value,  but  placed  in  the  boldest  relief  those  events  that  best  lent 
support  to  his  own  theories  of  politics  and  statecraft.  He  makes  his 
facts  to  be  as  he  wishes  them,  rather  than  as  he  knows  them  to  be. 
He  wishes  to  throw  .contempt  on  mercenary  troops,  and  though  he 
knows  an  engagement  to  have  been  bloody,  prefers  for  his  descrip- 
tion such  a  conclusion  as  this: — <(In  the  tremendous  defeat  that  was 
noised  throughout  Italy,  no  one  perished  excepting  Ludovico  degli 
Obizzi  and  two  of  his  men,  who  being  thrown  from  their  horses  were 
smothered  in  the  mud."  To  Machiavelli  history  was  largely  to  be 
written  as  a  tendenz  roman, — manufactured  to  point  a  preconceived 
moral. 

Though  Machiavelli  wrote  history,  poetry,  and  comedy,  it  is  not 
by  these  he  is  remembered.  The  works  that  have  made  his  name  a 
synonym,  and  given  it  a  place  in  every  tongue,  are  the  two  works 
written  almost  in  the  first  year  of  his  retirement  from  political 
life.  These  are  <  The  Prince )  and  the  < Discourses  on  the  First  Ten 
Books  of  Titus  Livius.'  Each  is  a  treatise  on  statecraft;  together  they 
form  a  complete  and  unified  treatise,  and  represent  an  attempt  to  for- 
mulate inductively  a  science  of  politics.  The  ( Discourses )  study 
republican  institutions,  <The  Prince*  monarchical  ones.  The  first  is 
the  more  elementary,  and  would  come  first  in  logical  arrangement. 
But  in  the  writing  of  them  Machiavelli  had  in  view  more  than  the 
foundation  of  a  science  of  politics.  He  was  anxious  to  win  the 
favor  of  the  Medici;  and  as  these  were  not  so  much  interested  in 
how  republics  are  best  built  up,  he  completed  c  The  Prince  )  first,  and 
sent  it  forth  dedicated  <(to  the  magnificent  Lorenzo,  son  of  Piero  de* 
Medici. » 

In  the  <  Discourses,  >  the  author  essays  <(a  new  science  of  states- 
manship, based  on  the  experience  of  human  events  and  history. w  In 
that  day  of  worship  of  the  ancient  world,  Machiavelli  endeavors  to 
draw  men  to  a  study  of  its  politics  as  well  as  its  art.  In  Livy  he 
finds  the  field  for  this  study. 


NICCOLO   MACHIAVELLI  9483 

«When  we  consider  the  general  respect  for  antiquity,  and  how  often  —  to 
say  nothing  of  other  examples  —  a  great  price  is  paid  for  some  fragments  of 
an  antique  statue  which  we  are  anxious  to  possess  to  ornament  our  houses 
with,  or  to  give  to  artists  who  strive  to  imitate  them  in  their  own  works; 
and  when  we  see,  on  the  other  hand,  the  wonderful  examples  which  the  his- 
tory of  ancient  kingdoms  and  republics  presents  to  us,  the  prodigies  of  virtue 
and  of  wisdom  displayed  by  the  kings,  captains,  citizens,  and  legislators  who 
have  sacrificed  themselves  for  their  country:  when  we  see  these,  I  say,  more 
admired  than  imitated,  or  so  much  neglected  that  not  the  least  trace  of  this 
ancient  virtue  remains, —  we  cannot  but  be  at  the  same  time  as  much  sur- 
prised as  afflicted;  the  more  so  as  in  the  differences  which  arise  between 
citizens,  or  in  the  maladies  to  which  they  are  subjected,  we  see  these  same 
people  have  recourse  to  the  judgments  and  the  remedies  prescribed  by  the 
ancients.  The  civil  laws  are  in  fact  nothing  but  the  decisions  given  by  their 
jurisconsults,  and  which,  reduced  to  a  system,  direct  our  modern  jurists  in 
their  decisions.  And  what  is  the  science  of  medicine  but  the  experience  of 
ancient  physicians,  which  their  successors  have  taken  for  a  guide  ?  And  yet 
to  found  a  republic,  maintain  States,  to  govern  a  kingdom,  organize  an  army, 
conduct  a  war,  dispense  justice,  and  extend  empires,  you  will  find  neither 
prince  nor  republic,  nor  captain,  nor  citizen,  who  has  recourse  to  the  exam- 
ples of  antiquity !» 

In  his  commentary  on  the  course  of  Romulus  in  the  founding 
of  Rome,  we  find  the  keynote  of  Machiavelli's  system  of  political 
science.  His  one  aim  is  the  building  of  a  State;  his  one  thought, 
how  best  to  accomplish  his  aim.  Means  are  therefore  to  be  selected, 
and  to  be  judged,  solely  as  regards  their  effectiveness  to  trie  business 
in  hand.  Ordinary  means  are  of  course  to  be  preferred ;  but  extraor- 
dinary must  be  used  when  needed. 

« Many  will  perhaps  consider  it  an  evil  example  that  the  founder  of  a  civil 
society,  as  Romulus  was,  should  first  have  killed  his  brother,  and  then  have 
consented  to  the  death  of  Titus  Tatius,  who  had  been  elected  to  share  the 
royal  authority  with  him;  from  which  it  might  be  concluded  that  the  citizens, 
according  to  the  example  of  their  prince,  might,  from  ambition  and  the  desire 
to  rule,  destroy  those  who  attempt  to  oppose  their  authority.  This  opinion 
would  be  correct,  if  we  do  not  take  into  consideration  the  object  which  Rom- 
ulus had  in  view  in  committing  that  homicide.  But  we  must  assume,  as  a 
general  rule,  that  it  never  or  rarely  happens  that  a  republic  or  monarchy  is 
well  constituted,  or  its  old  institutions  entirely  reformed,  unless  it  is  done  by 
only  one  individual;  it  is  even  necessary  that  he  whose  mind  has  conceived 
such  a  constitution  should  be  alone  in  carrying  it  into  effect.  A  sagacious 
legislator  of  a  republic,  therefore,  whose  object  is  to  promote  the  public  good 
and  not  his  private  interests,  and  who  prefers  his  country  to  his  own  succes- 
sors, should  concentrate  all  authority  in  himself;  and  a  wise  mind  will  never 
censure  any  one  for  having  employed  any  extraordinary  means  for  the  purpose 
of  establishing  a  kingdom  or  constituting  a  republic.  It  is  well  that  when  the 
act  accuses  him,  the  result  should  excuse ;  and  when  the  result  is  good,  as  in 
the  case  of  Romulus,  it  will  always  absolve  him  from  blame. w 


9484 


NICCOLO  MACHIAVELLI 


In  an  equally  scientific  and  concise  manner  he  analyzes  the  meth- 
ods of  preventing  factions  in  a  republic. 

«We  observe,  from  the  example  of  the  Roman  consuls  in  restoring  harmony 
between  the  patricians  and  plebeians  of  Ardea,  the  means  for  obtaining  that 
object,  which  is  none  other  than  to  kill  the  chiefs  of  the  opposing  factions.  In 
fact,  there  are  only  three  ways  of  accomplishing  it:  the  one  is  to  put  the 
leaders  to  death,  as  the  Romans  did;  or  to  banish  them  from  the  city;  or  to 
reconcile  them  to  each  other  under  a  pledge  not  to  offend  again.  Of  these 
three  ways,  the  last  is  the  worst,  being  the  least  certain  and  effective. » 

In  (The  Prince, }  a  short  treatise  of  twenty-six  chapters,  and  mak- 
ing little  more  than  a  hundred  octavo  pages,  Machiavelli  gives  more 
succinct  and  emphatic  expression  to  the  principles  of  his  new  polit- 
ical science.  (  The  Prince  >  is  the  best  known  of  all  his  works.  It  is 
the  one  always  connected  with  his  name,  and  which  has  made  his 
name  famous.  It  was  said  of  the  poet  Gray  that  no  other  man  had 
walked  down  the  aisle  of  fame  with  so  small  a  book  under  his  arm. 
It  might  be  repeated  as  truly  of  Machiavelli.  Men,  he  has  said, 
(<  preferred  infamy  to  oblivion,  for  at  least  infamy  served  to  transmit 
their  names  to  posterity. w  Had  he  written  (The  Prince }  to  escape 
oblivion,  the  fullest  measure  of  his  desire  would  have  been  attained. 
For  the  model  of  his  prince,  Machiavelli  took  Cesare  Borgia,  and  cites 
him  as  an  example  worthy  of  imitation;  and  he  has  shared  in  the 
execration  *hat  posterity  has  heaped  upon  Borgia. 

The  fifteenth  and  eighteenth  chapters  of  <The  Prince  >  contain  a 
formulation  of  the  principles  that  have  brought  down  condemnation 
on  their  author. 

«The  manner  in  which  men  live  is  so  different  from  the  way  in  which 
they  ought  to  live,  that  he  who  leaves  the  common  course  for  that  which  he 
ought  to  follow  will  find  that  it  leads  him  to  ruin  rather  than  to  safety.  For 
a  man  who  in  all  respects  will  carry  out  only  his  professions  of  good,  will  be 
apt  to  be  ruined  amongst  so  many  who  are  evil.  A  prince  therefore  who 
desires  to  maintain  himself,  must  learn  to  be  not  always  good,  but  to  be  so 
or  not  as  necessity  may  require.  .  .  .  For,  all  things  considered,  it  will  be 
found  that  some  things  that  seem  like  virtue  will  lead  you  to  ruin  if  you  fol- 
low them;  whilst  others  that  apparently  are  vices  will,  if  followed,  result  in 
your  safety  and  well-being. » 

And  again:  — 

<(  It  must  be  evident  to  every  one  that  it  is  more  praiseworthy  for  a  prince 
always  to  maintain  good  faith,  and  practice  integrity  rather  than  craft  and  de- 
ceit. And  yet  the  experience  of  our  own  times  has  shown  that  those  princes 
have  achieved  great  things  who  made  small  account  of  good  faith,  and  who 
understood  by  cunning  to  circumvent  the  intelligence  of  others;  and  that  in 


NICCOLO  MACHIAVELL1 


9485 


the  end  they  got  the  better  of  those  -whose  actions  were  dictated  by  loyalty 
and  good  faith.  You  must  know,  therefore,  that  there  are  two  ways  of  carry- 
ing on  a  contest:  the  one  by  law,  and  the  other  by  force.  The  first  is  prac- 
ticed by  men,  and  the  other  by  animals;  and  as  the  first  is  often  insufficient, 
it  becomes  necessary  to  resort  to  the  second. 

«A  prince  then  should  know  how  to  employ  the  nature  of  man,  and  that 
of  the  beast  as  well.  ...  A  prince  should  be  a  fox,  to  know  the  traps 
and  snares ;  and  a  lion,  to  be  able  to  frighten  the  wolves :  for  those  who  simply 
hold  to  the  nature  of  the  lion  do  not  understand  their  business. 

<(A  sagacious  prince,  then,  cannot  and  should  not  fulfill  his  pledges  when 
their  observance  is  contrary  to  his  interest,  and  when  the  causes  that  induced 
him  to  pledge  his  faith  rfo  longer  exist.  If  men  were  all  good,  then  indeed 
this  precept  would  be  bad;  but  as  men  are  naturally  bad,  and  will  not  observe 
their  faith  towards  you,  you  must  in  the  same  way  not  observe  yours  towards 
them:  and  no  prince  ever  yet  lacked  legitimate  reasons  with  which  to  color 
his  want  of  good  faith.  .  .  . 

«It  is  not  necessary,  however,  for  a  prince  to  possess  all  the  above-men- 
tioned qualities;  but  it  is  essential  that  he  should  at  least  seem  to  have  them. 
I  will  even  venture  to  say,  that  to  have  and  to  practice  them  constantly  is 
pernicious,  but  to  seem  to  have  them  is  useful.  For  instance,  a  prince  should 
seem  to  be  merciful,  faithful,  humane,  religious,  and  upright,  and  should  even 
be  so  in  reality;  but  he  should  have  his  mind  so  trained  that,  when  occasion 
requires  it,  he  may  know  how  to  change  to  the  opposite.  And  it  must  be 
understood  that  a  prince,  and  especially  one  who  has  but  recently  acquired 
his  state,  cannot  perform  all  those  things  which  cause  men  to  be  esteemed  as 
good;  he  being  often  obliged,  for  the  sake  of  maintaining  his  state*,  to  act  con- 
trary to  humanity,  charity,  and  religion.  And  therefore  it  is  necessary  that  he 
should  have  a  versatile  mind,  capable  of  changing  readily,  according  as  the 
winds  and  changes  bid  him;  and  as  has  been  said  above,  not  to  swerve  from 
the  good  if  possible,  but  to  know  how  to  resort  to  evil  if  necessity  demands  it.>J 

And  yet  in  these  same  books  we  find  expressions  worthy  of  a 
moralist. 

(<  All  enterprises  to  be  undertaken  should  be  for  the  honor  of  God  and  the 
general  good  of  the  country. » 

«In  well-constituted  governments,  the  citizens  fear  more  to  break  their 
oaths  than  the  laws;  because  they  esteem  the  power  of  God  more  than  that 
of  men.)> 

«  Even  in  war,  but  little  glory  is  derived  from  any  fraud  that  involves  the 
breaking  of  a  given  pledge  and  of  agreements  made.** 

« It  is  impossible  to  believe  that  either  valor  or  anything  praiseworthy  can 
result  from  a  dishonest  education,  or  an  impure  and  immodest  mmd.» 

The  strangest  moral  contradictions  abound  throughout  (The  Prince,' 
as  they  do  in  all  Machiavelli's  writings.  He  is  saint  or  devil  accord- 
ing as  you  select  your  extracts  from  his  writings.  Macaulay  has 
given  us  a  perfect  characterization  of  the  man  and  his  works. 


9486 


NICCOLO   MACHIAVELLI 


«  In  all  the  writings  which  he  gave  to  the  public,  and  in  all  those  which 
the  research  of  editors  has  in  the  course  of  three  centuries  discovered:  in 
his  comedies,  designed  for  the  entertainment  of  the' multitude;  in  his  com- 
ments on  Livy,  intended  for  the  perusal  of  the  most  enthusiastic  patriots  of 
Florence;  in  his  <  History, >  inscribed  to  one  of  the  most  amiable  and  esti- 
mable of  the  popes;  in  his  public  dispatches;  in  his  private  memoranda, — 
the  same  obliquity  of  moral  principle  for  which  <The  Prince  >  is  so  severely 
censured,  is  more  or  less  discernible.  We  doubt  whether  it  would  be  possi- 
ble to  find,  in  all  the  many  volumes  of  his  compositions,  a  single  expression 
indicating  that  dissimulation  and  treachery  had  ever  struck  him  as  discredit- 
able. 

« After  this,  it  may  seem  ridiculous  to  say  that  we  are  acquainted  with 
few  writings  which  exhibit  so  much  elevation  of  sentiment,  so  pure  and 
warm  a  zeal  for  the  public  good,  or  so  just  a  view  of  the  duties  and  rights 
of  citizens,  as  those  of  Machiavelli.  Yet  so  it  is.  And  even  from  <The  Prince  > 
itself,  we  could  select  many  passages  in  support  of  this  remark.  To  a  reader 
of  our  age  and  country,  this  inconsistency  is  at  first  perfectly  bewildering. 
The  whole  man  seems  to  be  an  enigma;  a  grotesque  assemblage  of  incongru- 
ous qualities ;  selfishness  and  generosity,  cruelty  and  benevolence,  craft  and 
simplicity,  abject  villainy  and  romantic  heroism.  One  sentence  is  such  as  a 
veteran  diplomatist  would  scarcely  write  in  cipher  for  the  direction  of  his 
most  confidential  spy;  the  next  seems  to  be  extracted  from  a  theme  composed 
by  an  ardent  schoolboy  on  the  death  of  Leonidas.  An  act  of  dexterous  per- 
fidy, and  an  act  of  patriotic  self-devotion,  call  forth  the  same  kind  and  the 
same  degree  of  respectful  admiration.  The  moral  sensibility  of  the  writer 
seems  at  once  to  be  morbidly  obtuse  and  morbidly  acute.  Two  characters 
altogether  dissimilar  are  united  in  him.  They  are  not  merely  joined,  but  in- 
terwoven. They  are  the  warp  and  the  woof  of  his  mind.** 

In  consequence  of  this,  no  writer  has  been  more  condemned  or 
more  praised  than  Machiavelli.  Shakespeare,  reflecting  English 
thought,  uses  his  name  as  the  superlative  for  craft  and  murderous 
treachery.  But  later  years  have  raised  up  defenders  for  him,  and  his 
rehabilitation  is  still  going  on.  He  has  been  lauded  as  <(  the  noblest 
and  purest  of  patriots }) ;  and  more  ardent  admirers  could  <(  even  praise 
his  generosity,  nobility,  and  exquisite  delicacy  of  mind,  and  go  so  far 
as  to  declare  him  an  incomparable  model  of  public  and  private  vir- 
tue.w  In  1787,  after  his  dust  had  lain  for  nearly  three  centuries  in  an 
obscure  tomb  beside  that  of  Michelangelo,  a  monument  was  erected 
above  him,  with  the  inscription  given  below, 

TANTO  NOMINI  NULLUM  PAR  EULOGIUM 
NICOLANO  MACHIAVELLUS 

[No  eulogy  could  add  aught  to  so  great  a  name  as  that  of  Niccolo 
Machiavelli.] 


NICCOLO  MACHIAVELLI  9487 

In  1859  the  government  of  his  native  Tuscany  itself  gave  his  works 
to  the  public  in  a  complete  edition.  And  in  1869  the  Italian  govern- 
ment enrolled  him  in  its  calendar  of  great  ones;  and  placed  above 
the  door  of  the  house  in  Florence  in  which  he  lived  and  died,  a  mar- 
ble tablet,  inscribed  — 

A  NICCOLO  MACHIAVELLI 

Dell'  Unita  Nazionale  Precursore  audace  e  indovino 

E  d'Armi  proprie  e  non  aventizie  primo  Institutore  e  Maestro 

L'ltalia  Una  e  Armata  pose  il  3  Maggio  1869 

IL  QUARTO  DI  Lui  CENTENNARIO 

[To  Niccolo  Machiavelli  —  the  intrepid  and  prophetic  Precursor  of  National 
Unity,  and  the  first  Institutor  and  Master  of  her  own  Armies  in  place 
of  adventitious  ones  —  United  and  Armed  Italy  places  this  on  May  3ds 
1869,  his  Fourth  Centenary.] 

His  rehabilitation  proceeds  from  two  causes.  Later  research  has 
shown  that  perhaps  he  only  reflected  his  time;  and  his  works  breathe 
a  passionate  longing  for  that  Italian  unity  which  in  our  day  has  been 
realized.  He  may  be  worthy  canonization  as  a  national  saint;  but 
those  who  are  more  interested  in  the  integrity  of  moral  standards 
than  in  Italian  unity  will  doubtless  continue  to  refuse  beatification  to 
one  who  indeed  knew  the  Roman  virtus,  but  was  insensible  to  the 
nature  of  virtue  as  understood  by  the  followers  of  Christ.  And  no 
amount  of  research  into  the  history  of  his  age  can  make  his  princi- 
ples less  vicious  in  themselves.  A  better  understanding  of  his  day 
can  only  lessen  the  boldness  of  the  relief  in  which  he  has  heretofore 
stood  out  in  history.  He  was  probably  no  worse  than  many  of  his 
fellows.  He  only  gave  a  scientific  formulation  to  their  practices.  He 
dared  openly  to  avow  and  justify  the  principles  that  their  actions 
implied.  They  paid  to  virtue  the  court  of  hypocrisy,  and  like  the 
Pharisee  of  the  earlier  time,  preached  righteousness  and  did  evil;  but 
Machiavelli  was  more  daring,  and  when  he  served  the  devil,  disdained 
to  go  about  his  business  in  the  livery  of  heaven. 


9488  NICCOLO   MACHIAVELLI 

THE  CONSPIRACY  AGAINST  CARLO   GALEAZZO,   DUKE 
OF  MILAN,  1476 

From  the  ( History  of  Florence  > 

WHILST  the-  transactions  between  the  King  and  the  Pope 
were  in  progress,  and  those  in  Tuscany,  in  the  manner 
we  have  related,  an  event  of  greater  importance  occurred 
in  Lombardy.  Cola  Montana,  a  learned  and  ambitious  man,  taught 
the  Latin  language  to  the  youth  of  the  principal  families  in  Mi- 
lan. Either  out  of  hatred  to  the  character  and  manners  of  the 
duke,  or  from  some  other  cause,  he  constantly  deprecated  the 
condition  of  those  who  live  under  a  bad  prince;  calling  those 
glorious  and  happy  who  had  the  good  fortune  to  be  born  and 
live  in  a  republic.  He  endeavored  to  show  that  the  most  cele- 
brated men  had  been  produced  in  republics,  and  not  reared 
under  princes;  that  the  former  cherish  virtue,  whilst  the  latter 
destroy  it;  the  one  deriving  advantage  from  virtuous  men,  whilst 
the  latter  naturally  fear  them.  The  youths  with  whom  he  was 
most  intimate  were  Giovanni  Andrea  Lampognano,  Carlo  Vis- 
conti,  and  Girolamo  Olgiato.  He  frequently  discussed  with 
them  the  faults  of  their  prince,  and  the  wretched  condition  of 
those  who  were  subject  to  him ;  and  by  constantly  inculcating  his 
principles,  acquired  such  an  ascendency  over  their  minds  as  to 
induce  them  to  bind  themselves  by  oath  to  effect  the  duke's  de- 
struction, as  soon  as  they  became  old  enough  to  attempt  it. 
Their  minds  being  fully  occupied  with  this  design,  which  grew 
with  their  years,  the  duke's  conduct  and  their  own  private  inju- 
ries served  to  hasten  its  execution.  Galeazzo  was  licentious  and 
cruel;  of  .both  which  vices  he  had  given  such  repeated  proofs 
that  he  became  odious  to  all.  .  .  .  These  private  injuries 
increased  the  young  men's  desire  for  vengeance,  and  the  deliv- 
erance of  their  country  from  so  many  evils;  trusting  that  when- 
ever they  should  succeed  in  destroying  the  duke,  many  of  the 
nobility  and  all  the  people  would  rise  in  their  defense.  Being 
resolved  upon  their  undertaking,  they  were  often  together;  which, 
on  account  of  their  long  intimacy,  did  not  excite  any  suspicion. 
They  frequently  discussed  the  subject;  and  in  order  to  familiar- 
ize their  minds  with  the  deed  itself,  they  practiced  striking  each 
other  in  the  breast  and  in  the  side  with  the  sheathed  daggers 
intended  to  be  used  for  the  purpose.  On  considering  the  most 
suitable  time  and  place,  the  castle  seemed  insecure;  during  the 


NICCOLO   MACHIAVELLI 


9489 


chase,  uncertain  and  dangerous;  whilst  going  about  the  city  for 
his  own  amusement,  difficult  if  not  impracticable;  and  at  a  ban- 
quet, of  doubtful  result.  They  therefore  determined  to  kill  him 
upon  the  occasion  of  some  procession  or  public  festivity,  when 
there  would  be  no  doubt  of  his  presence,  and  where  they  might 
under  various  pretexts  assemble  their  friends.  It  was  also  re- 
solved that  if  one  of  their  number  were  prevented  from  attend- 
ing, on  any  account  whatever,  the  rest  should  put  him  to  death 
in  the  midst  of  their  armed  enemies. 

It  was  now  the  close  of  the  year  1476, —  near  Christmas;  and 
as  it  was  customary  for  the  duke  to  go  upon  St.  Stephen's  day, 
in  great  solemnity,  to  the  church  of  that  martyr,  they  considered 
this  the  most  suitable  opportunity  for  the  execution  of  their  de-  • 
sign.  Upon  the  morning  of  that  day  they  ordered  some  of  their 
most  trusty  friends  and  servants  to  arm,  telling  them  they  wished 
to  go  to  the  assistance  of  Giovanandrea,  who,  contrary  to  the  wish 
of  some  of  his  neighbors,  intended  to  turn  a  water-course  into 
his  estate;  but  that  before  they  went  they  wished  to  take  leave 
of  the  prince.  They  also  assembled,  under  various  pretenses, 
other  friends  and  relatives;  trusting  that  when  the  deed  was  ac- 
complished, every  one  would  join  them  in  the  completion  of  their 
enterprise.  It  was  their  intention,  after  the  duke's  death,  to  col- 
lect their  followers  together  and  proceed  to  those  parts  of  the 
city  where  they  imagined  the  plebeians  would  be  most  disposed 
to  take  arms  against  the  duchess  and  the  principal  ministers  of 
State:  and  they  thought  the  people,  on  account  of  the  famine 
which  then  prevailed,  would  easily  be  induced  to  follow  them; 
for  it  was  their  design  to  give  up  the  houses  of  Cecco  Simonetta, 
Giovanni  Botti,  and  Francesco  Lucani, —  all  leading  men  in  the 
government, —  to  be  plundered,  and  by  this  means  gain  over  the 
populace  and  restore  liberty  to  the  community.  With  these  ideas, 
and  with  minds  resolved  upon  their  execution,  Giovanandrea  and 
the  rest  were  early  at  the  church,  and  heard  mass  together;  after 
which  Giovanandrea,  turning  to  a  statue  of  St.  Ambrose,  said, 
<(O  patron  of  our  city!  thou  knowest  our  intention,  and  the  end  , 
we  would  attain  by  so  many  dangers:  favor  our  enterprise,  and 
prove,  by  protecting  the  oppressed,  that  tyranny  is  offensive  to 
thee.» 

To  the  duke,  on  the  other  hand,  when  intending  to  go  to  the 
church,  many  omens  occurred  of  his  approaching  death ;  for  in  the 
morning,  having  put  on  a  cuirass,  as  was  his  frequent  custom,  he 


NICCOLO  MACHIAVELLI 

immediately  took  it  off  again,  either  because  it  inconvenienced 
him  or  that  he  did  not  like  its  appearance.  He  then  wished  to 
hear  mass  in  the  castle;  but  found  that  the  priest  who  officiated 
in  the  chapel  had  gone  to  St.  Stephen's,  and  taken  with  him  the 
sacred  utensils.  On  this  he  desired  the  service  to  be  performed 
by  the  Bishop  of  Como,  '  who  acquainted  him  with  preventing 
circumstances.  Thus,  almost  compelled,  he  determined  to  go  to 
the  church;  but  before  his  departure  he  caused  his  sons,  Giovan 
Galeazzo  and  Ermes,  to  be  brought  to  him,  and  embraced  and 
kissed  them  several  times,  seeming  reluctant  to  part  with  them. 
He  then  left  the  castle,  and  with  the  ambassadors  of  Ferrara  and 
Mantua  on  either  hand,  proceeded  to  St.  Stephen's. 

The  conspirators,  to  avoid  exciting  suspicion,  and  to  escape 
the  cold,  which  was  very  severe,  had  withdrawn  to  an  apart- 
ment of  the  arch-priest,  who  was  a  friend  of  theirs;  but  hearing 
the  duke's  approach,  they  came  into  the  church,  Giovanandrea 
and  Girolamo  placing  themselves  upon  the  right  hand  of  the  en- 
trance and  Carlo  on  the  left.  Those  who  led  the  procession 
had  already  entered,  and  were  followed  by  the  duke,  surrounded 
by  such  a  multitude  as  is  usual  on  similar  occasions.  The  first 
attack  was  made  by  Lampognano  and  Girolamo;  who,  pretending 
to  clear  the  way  for  the  prince,  came  close  to  him,  and  grasping 
their  daggers,  which  being  short  and  sharp  were  concealed  in  the 
sleeves  of  their  vests,  struck  at  him.  Lampognano  gave  him 
two  wounds,  one  in  the  belly,  the  other  in  the  throat.  Girolamo 
struck  him  in  the  throat  and  breast.  Carlo  Visconti,  being  nearer 
the  door,  and  the  duke  having  passed,  could  not  wound  him  in 
front;  but  with  two  strokes  transpierced  his  shoulder  and  spine. 
These  six  wounds  were  inflicted  so  instantaneously  that  the  duke 
had  fallen  before  any  one  was  aware  of  what  had  happened;  and 
he  expired,  having  only  once  ejaculated  the  name  of  the  Virgin, 
as  if  imploring  her  assistance. 

A  great  tumult  immediately  ensued;  several  swords  were 
drawn;  and  as  often  happens  in  sudden  emergencies,  some  fled 
from  the  church  and  others  ran  towards  the  scene  of  tumult, 
both  without  any  definite  motive  or  knowledge  of  what  had  oc- 
curred. Those,  however,  who  were  nearest  the  duke  and  had 
seen  him  slain,  recognizing  the  murderers,  pursued  them.  Gio- 
vanandrea, endeavoring  to  make  his  way  out  of  the  church,  had 
to  pass  among  the  women,  who  being  numerous,  and  according 
to  their  custom  seated  upon  the  ground,  impeded  his  progress 


NICCOLO   MACHIAVELLI 


949 1 


by  their  apparel;  and  being  overtaken,  he  was  killed  by  a  Moor, 
one  of  the  duke's  footmen.  Carlo  was  slain  by  those  who  were 
immediately  around  him.  Girolamo  Olgiato  passed  through  the 
crowd,  and  got  out  of  the  church;  but  seeing  his  companions 
dead,  and  not  knowing  where  else  to  go,  he  went  home,  where 
his  father  and  brothers  refused  to  receive  him;  his  mother  only, 
having  compassion  on  her  son,  recommended  him  to  a  priest, 
an  old  friend  of  the  family,  who,  disguising  him  in  his  own  ap- 
parel, led  him  to  his  house.  Here  he  remained  two  days,  not 
without  hope  that  some  disturbance  might  arise  in  Milan  which 
would  contribute  to  his  safety.  This  not  occurring,  and  appre- 
hensive that  his  hiding-place  would  be  discovered,  he  endeavored 
to  escape  in  disguise;  but  being  observed,  he  was  given  over  to 
justice,  and  disclosed  all  the  particulars  of  the  conspiracy.  Giro- 
lamo was  twenty-three  years  of  age,  and  exhibited  no  less  com- 
posure at  his  death  than  resolution  in  his  previous  conduct;  for 
being  stripped  of  his  garments,  and  in  the  hands  of  the  execu- 
tioner, who  stood  by  with  the  sword  unsheathed  ready  to  deprive 
him  of  life,  he  repeated  the  following  words  in  the  Latin  tongue, 
in  which  he  was  well  versed:  «  Mors  acerba,  fama  perpetua,  stabit 
vetus  memoria  facti.^* 

The  enterprise  of  these  unfortunate  young  men  was  conducted 
with  secrecy  and  executed  with  resolution;  and  they  failed  for 
want  of  the  support  of  those  whom  they  expected  to  rise  in 
their  defense.  Let  princes  therefore  learn  to  live  so  as  to  ren- 
der themselves  beloved  and  respected  by  their  subjects,  that  none 
may  have  hope  of  safety  after  having  destroyed  them ;  and  let 
others  see  how  vain  is  the  expectation  which  induces  them  to 
trust  so  much  to  the  multitude  as  to  believe  that  even  when 
discontented,  they  will  either  embrace  their  cause  or  ward  off 
their  dangers.  This  event  spread  consternation  all  over  Italy; 
but  those  which  shortly  afterwards  occurred  in  Florence  caused 
much  more  alarm,  and  terminated  a  peace  of  twelve  years'  con- 
tinuance. Having  commenced  with  blood  and  horror,  they  will 
have  a  melancholy  and  tearful  conclusion. 

* «  Death  is  bitter,  but  fame  is  eternal,  and  the  memory  of  this  deed  shall 
long  endure. w 


9492  NICCOLO   MACHIAVELLI 

HOW  A  PRINCE  OUGHT  TO  AVOID   FLATTERERS 
From  <The  Prince  > 

I  MUST  not  forget  to  mention  one  evil  against  which  princes 
should  ever  be  upon  their  guard,  and  which  they  cannot 
avoid  except  by  the  greatest  prudence;  and  this  evil  is  the 
flattery  which  reigns  in  every  court.  Men  have  so  much  self' 
love,  and  so  good  an  opinion  of  themselves,  that  it  is  very  diffi' 
cult  to  steer  clear  of  such  contagion;  and  besides,  in  endeavoring 
to  avoid  it,  they  run  the  risk  of  being  despised. 

For  princes  have  no  other  way  of  expelling  flatterers  than  by 
showing  that  the  truth  will  not  offend.  Yet  if  every  one  had  the 
privilege  of  uttering  his  sentiments  with  impunity,  what  would 
become  of  the  respect  due  to  the  majesty  of  the  sovereign  ?  A 
prudent  prince  should  take  a  middle  course,  and  make  choice  of 
some  discreet  men  in  his  State,  to  whom  alone  he  may  give  the 
liberty  of  telling  him  the  truth  on  such  subjects  as  he  shall 
request  information  upon  from  them.  '  He  ought  undoubtedly  to 
interrogate  them  and  "hear  their  opinions  upon  every  subject  of 
importance,  and  determine  afterwards  according  to  his  own 
judgment;  conducting  himself  at  all  times  in  such  a  manner  as 
to  convince  every  one  that  the  more  freely  they  speak  the  more 
acceptable  they  will  be.  After  which  he  should  listen  to  nobody 
else,  but  proceed  firmly  and  steadily  in  the  execution  of  what  he 
has  determined. 

A  prince  who  acts  otherwise  is  either  bewildered  by  the  adu- 
lation of  flatterers,  or  loses  all  respect  and  consideration  by  the 
uncertain  and  wavering  conduct  he  is  obliged  to  pursue.  This 
doctrine  can  be  supported  by  an  instance  from  the  history  of  our 
own  times.  Father  Luke  said  of  the  Emperor  Maximilian,  his 
master,  now  on  the  throne,  that  ((he  never  took  counsel  of  any 
person,  and  notwithstanding  he  never  acted  from  an  opinion  of 
his  own  }> ;  and  in  this  he  adopted  a  method  diametrically  opposite 
to  that  which  I  have  proposed.  For  as  this  prince  never  in- 
trusted his  designs  to  any  of  his  ministers,  their  suggestions  were 
not  made  till  the  very  moment  when  they  should  be  executed;  so 
that,  pressed  by  the  exigencies  of  the  moment,  and  overwhelmed 
with  obstacles  and  unforeseen  difficulties,  he  was  obliged  to  yield 
to  whatever  opinions  his  ministers  might  offer.  Hence  it  hap- 
pens, that  what  he  does  one  day  he  is  obliged  to  cancel  the  next; 


NICCOLO   MACHIAVELLI 

and  thus  nobody  can  depend  on  his  decisions,  for  it  is  impossible 
to  know  what  will  be  his  ultimate  determination. 

A  prince  ought  to  take  the  opinions  of  others  in  everything, 
but  only  at  such  times  as  it  pleases  himself,  and  not  whenever 
they  are  obtruded  upon  him;  so  that  no  one  shall  presume  to 
give  him  advice  when  he  does  not  request  it.  He  ought  to  be 
inquisitive,  and  listen  with  attention;  and  when  he  sees  any  one 
hesitate  to  tell  him  the  full  truth,  he  ought  to  evince  the  utmost 
displeasure  at  such  conduct. 

Those  are  much  mistaken  who  imagine  that  a  prince  who 
listens  to  the  counsel  of  others  will  be  but  little  esteemed,  and 
thought  incapable  of  acting  on  his  own  judgment.  It  is  an  infal- 
lible rule  that  a  prince  who  does  not  possess  an  intelligent  mind 
of  his  own  can  never  be  well  advised,  unless  he  is  entirely  gov- 
erned by  the  advice  of  an  able  minister,  on  whom  he  may  repose 
the  whole  cares  of  government;  but  in  this  case  he  runs  a  great 
risk  of  being  stripped  of  his  authority  by  the  very  person  to  whom 
he  has  so  indiscreetly  confided  his  power.  And  if  instead  of  one 
counselor  he  has  several,  how  can  he,  ignorant  and  uninformed 
as  he  is,  conciliate  the  various  and  opposite  opinions  of  those 
ministers, —  who  are  probably  more  intent  on  their  own  interests 
than  those  of  the  State,  and  that  without  his  suspecting  it  ? 

Besides,  men  who  are  naturally  wicked  incline  to  good  only 
when  they  are  compelled  to  it;  whence  we  may  conclude  that 
good  counsel,  come  from  what  quarter  it  may,  is  owing  entirely 
to  the  wisdom  of  the  prince,  and  the  wisdom  of  the  prince  does 
not  arise  from  the  goodness  of  the  counsel. 


EXHORTATION   TO   LORENZO   DE'   MEDICI   TO   DELIVER    ITALY 
FROM    FOREIGN   DOMINATION 

From  closing  chapter  of  ( The  Prince  > 

IF  IT  was  needful  that  Israel   should  be   in   bondage   to    Egypt, 
to  display  the  quality  of  Moses;   that  the   Persians  should  be 
overwhelmed   by  the  Medes,  to  bring  out   the   greatness   and 
the  valor   of  Cyrus;    that   the  Athenians  should  be   dispersed,  to 
make  plain  the  superiority  of  Theseus, —  so  at  present,  to  illumi- 
nate the  grandeur  of  one   Italian   spirit,  it  was  Doubtless  needful 
that  Italy  should  be  sunk  to  her  present  state, —  a  worse  slavery 
than  that  of  the  Jews,  more  thoroughly  trampled  down  than  the 


NICCOLO  MACHIAVELLI 

Persians,  more  scattered  than  the  Athenians;  without  a  head, 
without  public  order,  conquered  and  stripped,  lacerated,  overrun 
by  her  foes,  subjected  to  every  form  of  spoliation. 

And  though  from  time  to  time  there  has  emanated  from 
some  one  a  ray  of  hope  that  he  was  the  one  ordained  by  God 
to  redeem  Italy,  yet  we  have  seen  how  he  was  so  brought  to  a 
standstill  at  the  very  height  of  his  success  that  poor  Italy  still 
remained  lifeless,  so  to  speak,  and  waiting  to  see  who  might  be 
sent  to  bind  up  her  wounds,  to  end  her  despoilment, —  the  dev- 
astation of  Lombardy,  the  plunder  and  ruinous  taxation  of  the 
kingdom  of  Naples  and  of  Tuscany, —  and  to  heal  the  sores  that 
have  festered  so  long.  You  see  how  she  prays  to  God  that  he 
may  send  her  a  champion  to  defend  her  from  this  cruelty,  bar- 
barity, and  insolence.  You  see  her  eager  to  follow  any  standard, 
if  only  there  is  some  one  to  uprear  it.  But  there  is  no  one 
at  this  time  to  whom  she  could  look  more  hopefully  than  to 
your  illustrious  house,  O  magnificent  Lorenzo!  which,  with  its 
excellence  and  prudence,  favored  by  God  and  the  Church, —  of 
which  it  is  now  the  head, —  could  effectively  begin  her  deliver- 
ance. .  .  . 

You  must  not  allow  this  opportunity  to  pass.  Let  Italy, 
after  waiting  so  long,  see  her  deliverer  appear  at  last.  And  I 
cannot  put  in  words  with  what  affection  he  would  be  received  in 
all  the  States  which  have  suffered  so'  long  from  this  inundation 
of  foreign  enemies!  with  what  thirst  for  vengeance,  with  what 
unwavering  loyalty,  with  what  devotion,  and  with  what  tears! 
What  door  would  be  closed  to  him  ?  Who  would  refuse  to  obey 
him  ?  What  envy  would  dare  to  contest  his  place  ?  What  Italian 
would  refuse  him  homage  ?  This  supremacy  of  foreign  barbari- 
ans is  a  stench  in  the  nostrils  of  all! 


9494a 


PERCY  MACKAYE 

(1875-) 

modern  drama  since  Ibsen  has  been  in  large  measure  realistic 
and  propagandist.  The  theatre  has  been  crowded  with 
problems,  sermons,  and  reforms.  Yet  during  this  period, 
Romance  has  refused  to  leave  the  stage,  and  Fancy  and  Poetry  have 
piped  for  many  a  dance.  Ibsen  himself  wrote  (Peer  Gynt)  as  well  as 
(Ghosts);  France  has  Rostand  as  well  as  Brieux;  and  the  new  Irish 
drama  is  essentially  poetic  and  romantic.  In  England,  not  to  speak 
of  the  blank-verse  plays  of  Stephen  Phillips  and  others,  the  most 
popular  playwright  has  been  Mr.  Barrie  who  welds  sentiment, 
whimsy,  fantasy,  and  nonsense  into  a  kind  of  comedy  scarcely 
seen  since  the  days  of  Bottom  and  Titania.  We  may  leave  it 
to  a  future  historian  to  decide  where  the  balance  lies  between  the 
realistic  and  the  romantic  proclivities  of  our  drama,  and  to  deter- 
mine whether  Mr.  Shaw  throws  his  weight  with  the  serious  preacher 
or  with  the  ((high  fantastical.))  Our  concern  is  merely  to  note 
that  our  stage  has  been  large  enough  to  afford  room  for  many  a  flight 
of  fancy. 

In  the  United  States,  Mr.  Percy  Mackaye  has  been  the  chief  poet 
of  the  theatre,  and  whether  he  has  written  in  verse  or  in  prose  he  has 
always  contrived  to  give  fancy  wing.  Sometimes  he  has  gone  to  the 
past  for  his  themes.  Chaucer  provided  his  first  comedy,  (The  Canter- 
bury Pilgrims)  (1903),  which  after  many  open-air  performances  grad- 
uated into  opera.  (Jeanne  d'Arc)  (1906)  and  (Sappho  and  Phaon) 

(1907)  are  two  of  his  early  tragedies  that  won  the  services  of  distinguished 
actors.     But  his  fancy  has  not  been  confined  to  the  great  stories  of 
the  past  or  to  the  traditional  forms  of  the  drama.      (The  Scarecrow) 

(1908)  was  sub-titled  ((a  tragedy  of  the  ludicrous));  and  a  series  of  one- 
act  plays   was  brought  together  under  the  title    (Yankee   Fantasies) 
(1912).     (Eeny  Meeny)   has  the  still  more  attractive  label  ((a  moon- 
shine fantasy,))  and  when  Mr.  Mackaye  came  to  write  of  (The  Immi- 
grants)   (1915),    the   result   was   denominated   a   ((lyric    drama.))     The 
mixture  of  species  indicated  by  these  titles  is  significant  of  Mr.  Mack- 
aye's  invention,  which  while  variable  in  purpose,  is  always  seeking  to 
escape  from  the  stricter  limitations  of  the  theatre.      He  has  found  a 
congenial    opportunity    in    the    more    spacious    stage    afforded    by    the 
masques,  pageants,  and  out-of-door  performances  of  civic  celebrations. 
His  (Sanctuary,  a  Bird  Masque)  was  produced  before  President  Wilson 
in  1913;  his   (St.  Louis,)   a  civic  masque,  was  given  in   1914;  and  his 


9494b  PERCY   MACKAYE 

(Caliban,)  for  the  Shakespearian  tercentenary,  received  a  stupendous 
presentation  in  New  York  in  1916. 

It  would  be  easy  to  criticize  any  of  Mr.  Mackaye's  productions 
from  the  point  of  view  of  dramaturgy;  but  the  remarkable  fact  is  that 
in  so  many  ways  he  has  succeeded  in  bringing  so  varied  and  so  fresh 
an  invention  to  the  service  of  the  stage.  Within  the  same  period, 
other  men  have  written  more  successful  plays,  and  other  men  have 
sustained  their  fancy  in  more  certain  nights.  No  other  man,  however, 
has  so  persistently  and  ingeniously  wooed  the  stage  with  poetry  and 
fantasy. 

Percy  Mackaye,  dramatist,  son  of  Steele  Mackaye,  dramatist,  was 
born  in  New  York  in  1875.  Since  his  graduation  from  Harvard  and 
the  succeeding  years  of  study  and  travel  abroad,  he  has  practised 
assiduously  at  his  high  calling.  In  addition  to  a  large  number  of 
dramatic  productions,  some  of  which  have  been  mentioned,  he  has 
written  many  non-dramatic  poems,  so  that  his  collected  works  now 
consist  of  one  volume  of  plays  and  one  of  poems.  Among  the  latter 
are  several  read  on.  special  occasions,  as  (Ticonderoga)  (1909),  (Ellen 
Terry)  (1910),  (Commodore  Peary  and  his  Men)  (1910).  He  has 
also  published  a  memoir  of  his  father,  several  volumes  of  essays,  as 
(The  Playhouse  and  the  Play)  (1909),  and'  (The  Civic  Theatre)  (1912), 
and  (with  Professor  Tatlock)  has  written  (The  Modern  Reader's 
Chaucer)  (1912). 


FROM  (THE  CANTERBURY  PILGRIMS) 
Copyright  by  the  Macmillan  Co.,  and  reprinted  by  their  permission. 

[The  scene  is  at  the  Tabard  Inn;  the  persons  are  the  pilgrims  well  known  to  us 
from  Chaucer's  Prologue  to  the  Canterbury  Tales.] 

KNIGHT  —  I  am  returning  from  the  Holy  Land 
And  go  to  pay  my  vows  at  Canterbury. 
This  is  my  son. 

Chaucer  —  Go  you  to  Canterbury 

As  well,  Sir  Squire? 

[The  Squire,  putting  down  his  flute,  sighs  deeply.] 

Knight  —  My  son,  the  gentleman 

Accosts  thee! 
Squire  —  Noble  gentleman  —  Ah  me! 

[He  turns  away.] 


PERCY   MACKAYE 


9494  c 


Chaucer  [follows  him]  — 

My  dearest  heart  and  best  beloved  foe, 

Why  liketh  you  to  do  me  all  this  woe? 

What  have  I  done  that  grieveth  you,  or  said, 

Save  that  I  love  and  serve  you,  high  and  low? 

And  whilst  I  1'ive  I  will  do  ever  so. 

Wherefore,  my  sweet,  do  not  that  I  be  dead; 

For  good  and  fair  and  gentle  as  ye  be, 

It  were  great  wonder  if  but  that  ye  had 

A  thousand  thousand  servants,  good  and  bad: 

The  most  unworthiest  servant  —  I  am  he! 
Squire  —          Sir,  by  my  lady's  grace,  you  are  a  poet 

And  lover,  like  myself.     We  shall  be  brothers. 

But  pardon,  sir,  those  verses  are  not  yours. 

Dan  Chaucer  wrote,  them.     Ah,  sir,  know  you  Chaucer? 
Chaucer  —       Twelve  stone  of  him! 
Squire  —  Would  /  did!     Is  he  not 

An  amorous  divinity?     Looks  he 

Like  pale  Leander,  or  some  ancient  god? 

Chaucer  —        Sooth,  he  is  like  old  Bacchus  round  the  middle. 
Squire  —  How  acts  he  when  in  love?      What  feathers  wears  he? 

Doth  he  sigh  oft?     What  lady  doth  he  serve? 

Oh! 

[At  a  smile  from  Chaucer,  he  starts  back  and  looks  at 
him  in  awe:  then  hurries  to  the  Knight.  Chaucer  walks 
among  the  pilgrims,  talking  with  them  severally.} 

Miller  [to  Franklin]  — 

Ten  gallon  ale?     God's  arms!     I  take  thee. 
Man  of  Law  —  What's 

The  wager? 
Franklin  —  Yonder  door;  this  miller  here 

Shall  break  it,  at  a  running,  with  his  head. 

The  door  is  oak.     The  stakes  ten  gallon  ale. 
Shipman  —      Ho,  then,  I  bet  the  miller  shall  be  drunk. 
Merchant  -      What  bet? 

Shipman  —  Twelve  crown  upon  the  miller. 

Merchant  —   '  Done. 

[At  the  door  appears  the  Prioress,  accompanied  by  a  Nun 
and  her  three  priests,  one  of  whom,  Joannes,  carries  a  little 
pup.  The  Host  hurries  up  with  a  reverence.} 


Host  —  Welcome,  my  lady  dear. 

Poor  Harry  Bailey's  inn. 


Vouchsafe  to  enter 


9494  d  PERCY  MACKAYE 

Progress  —  Merci. 

Host  [to  a  serving-boy]  —  Knave,  show 

My  lady  Prioress  to  the  blue  chamber 

Where  His  Majesty,  King  Richard,  slept. 
Prioress  —  Joannes, 

Mark,  Paulus,  stay!  have  you  the  little  hound 

Safe? 

Joannes  —  Yes,  my  lady. 

Prioress  —  Carry  him  before, 

But  carefully. 
Miller  [to.  Yeoman]  — 

Here,  nut-head,  hold  my  hood. 
Yeoman —       Wilt  try  bareheaded? 
Friar  —  'Mass! 

Franklin  —  Ha,  for  a  skull! 

Miller,  thou  art  as  tough  a  knot  as  e'er 

The  Devil  tied.     By  God,  mine  ale  is  spilled. 

[The  priests  and  Prioress  have  just  reached  the  door  left 
front,  which  the  Miller  is  preparing  to  ram.} 

Ploughman  —  The  door  is  locked. 

Joannes  —  But,  sir,  the  Prioress  — 

Shipman  —      Heigh!     Clear  the  decks! 

[The  Miller,  with  clenched  fists  and  head  doubled  over, 
runs  for  the  door.] 

Yeoman  —  Harrow! 

Parson  -  Run,     Robin. 

Guild-Men  [rise  from  their  dice]  —  Ho! 

[With  a  crash,  the  Miller's  head  strikes  the  door  and  splits 
it.  At  the  shock,  he  rebounds  against  Joannes,  and  reaching 
to  save  himself  from  falling,  seizes  the  puppy.] 

Miller  -  A  twenty  devils! 

Guild- Men  [all  but  the  Weaver,  clambering  over  the  table]  - 

Come  on! 

Ploughman  [to  the  Miller]  -  What  aileth  thee? 

Miller  —  The  priest  hath  bit  my  hand. 

Joannes  -  Sweet  sir,  the  puppy  - 

It  was  the  puppy,  sir. 

Miller  -  Wring  me  its  neck. 

Prioress  —       Alas,  Joannes  —  help! 


PERCY   MACKAYE  9494e 

Miller  —  By  Corpus  bones! 

Give  me  the  cur. 

Prioress  —  St.  Loy!      Will  no  one  help? 

Chaucer  —        Madame,  what  may  I  do? 
Prioress  —  My  little  hound  — 

The  churl  —  My  little  hound!     The  churl  will  hurt  it. 

If  you  would  fetch  to  me  my  little  hound  — 
Chaucer  -• —  Madame,  I'd  fetch  you  Cerberus  from  hell. 
Miller  —  Lo,  masters!  See  a  dog's  neck  wrung! 

Chaucer  [breaking  through  the  crowd,  seizes  the  Miller  by  the  throat]  — 

Which  dog's? 

Miller  — -  Leave  go!  —  'Sdeath!     Take  the  whelp,  a  devil's  name.- 

Chaucer  —        Kneel!     Ask  grace  of  this  lady  here. 
Miller  [sullenly]  —  What  lady? 

Chaucer —         Of  her  whom  gentles  call  St.  Charity 

In  every  place  and  time.  — 

[Turns  then  towards  Prioress.] 

What  other  name 

This  lady  bears,  I  have  not  yet  been  honored 
With  knowing.  = —  Kneel! 

Miller  [morosely;  kneels]  —  Lady,  I  axe  your  pardon. 

Chaucer  —        Madame,  your  little  hound  is  safe. 

Prioress  [nestles  the  little  hound  with  tender  effusiveness;  then  turns  shyly 
to  Chaucer  — 

Merci! 
My  name  is  Madame  Eglantine. 

[Hurries  out,  left.] 


Chaucer  [aside]  —  Hold,  Geoffrey! 

Yon  beastie's  quaking  side  thumped  not  as  thine 
Thumps  now.     And  wilt  thou  ape  a  little  hound? 
Ah,  Madame  Eglantine,  unless  ye  be 
To  me,  as  well  as  him,  St.  Charity! 

Franklin  —      Who  is  the  man? 

Miller  -  The  Devil,  by  his  eye. 

They  say  King  Richard  hath  to  court  a  wrastler 
Can  grip  ten  men.      I  guess  that  he  be  him. 

Cook  —  Ho!  milksop  of  a  miller! 

Miller  [seizing  him]  —  Say  it  twice; 

What? 

Cook  -  Nay,  thou  art  a  bull  at  bucking  doors. 

Franklin  —      Let  ribs  be  hoops  for  twenty  gallon  ale 
And  stop  your  wind-bags.      Come. 


9494f  PERCY  MACKAYE 

Miller  [with  a  grin,  follows  the  Franklin]  — 
Ship  man  —     Twelve  crown. 


By  Corpus  bones! 
Twelve,  say  you?     See  my  man  of  law. 


Merchant  — 

Weaver  [springs  to  his  feet]  — 

The  throw  is  mine!     • 
Dyer  —  A  lie!     When  we  were  away 

You  changed  the  dice! 

Weaver  —  My  throw  was  cinq  and  three. 

Dyer  —  A  lie!     Have  it  in  your  gullet! 

[Draws  his  knife.     They  fight.} 

Carpenter  —  Part  them! 

Tapicer  —  Back! 

Host  —  Harrow!     Dick  Weaver,  hold!     Fie,  Master  Dyer, 

Here's  not  a  dyeing  stablishment;  we  want 
No  crimson  cloth  —  Clap  hands  now:  Knave,  more  ale. 

Chaucer  [to  the  Doctor]  — 

If  then,  as  by  hypothesis,  this  cook 

Hath  broke  his  nose,  it  follpws  first  that  we 

Must  calculate  the  ascendent  of  his  image.  . 

Doctor  —  Precisely!     Pray  proceed.     I  am  fortunate 

To  have  met  a  fellow-doctor  at  this  inn. 

Chaucer  —        Next,  treating  him  by  magic  natural, 
Provide  him  well  with  old  authorities, 
As  Esculapius,  Diescorides, 
Damascien,  Constantinus,  Averrois, 
Hippocrates,  Serapion,  Razis, 
Bernardus,  Galienus,  Gilbertinus  — 

Doctor  —          But,  sir,  the  fellow  cannot  read  — 

Chaucer  —  Why,  true; 

Then  there  remains  but  one  sure  remedy, 
Thus:  bid  him,  fasting,  when  the  moon  is  wane, 
And  Venus  rises  in  the  house  of  Pisces, 
To  rub  it  nine  times  with  a  herring's  tail. 

Doctor  —          Yea,  Pisces  is  a  fish.  —  I  thank  you,  sir. 

[He  hurries  of  to  the  Cook,  whose  nose  he  has  patched.} 

Host  [to  the  Reeve,  who  enters}  — 

God  save  thee,  Osewold!     What's  o'clock?     Thou  looks't 

As  puckered  as  a  pear  at  Candlemas. 
Reeve  —  There  be  too  many  fold  i'  the  world;  and  none 

Is  ripe  till  he  be  rotten. 


PERCY    MACKAYE  9494  g 

[Sits  at  table.] 

Penny 'orth  ale! 

Squire  —          My  lord,  father! 

Knight  —  Well,  son? 

Squire  [looking  at  Chaucer]  —  Sir,  saw  you  ever 

So  knightly,  sweet,  and  sovereign  a  man, 
With  eyes  so  glad  and  shrewdly  innocent? 
O,  when  I  laid  my  hand  in  his,  and  looked 
Into  his  eyes,  meseemed  I  rode  on  horse 
Into  the  April  open  fields,  and  heard 
The  larks  upsinging  in  the  sun.     Sir,  have 
You  guessed  who  'tis? 

Knight  —  To  judge  him  by  his  speech, 

Some  valiant  officer. 

Squire  —  Nay,  I  have  guessed. 


THE  SCARECROW 
Copyright  by  the  Macmillan  Co.,  and  reprinted  by  their  permission. 

Act  IV. 

[Night.  The  moon,  shining  in  broadly  at  the  window,  discovers  Ravens- 
bane  alone,  prostrate  before  the  mirror.  Raised  on  one  arm  to  a 
half-sitting  posture,  he  gazes  fixedly  at  the  -vaguely  seen  image  of  the 
scarecrow  prostrate  in  the  glass.] 

RAVENSBANE  —  All   have   left    me  —  but   not   thou.     Rachel   has 
left  me;  her  eyes   have   turned   away   from   me;  she  is  gone. 
And  with  her,  the  great   light    itself   from  heaven  has  drawn 
her   glorious   skirts,   contemptuous,   from  me  —  and   they   are   gone 
together.     Dickon,  he  too  has  left  me  —  but  not  thou.     All  that  I 
loved,  all  that  loved  me,  have  left  me.     A  thousand  ages  —  a  thousand 
ages  ago,  they  went  away;  and  thou  and  I  have  gazed  upon  each  other's 
desert edness.     Speak!    and   be   pitiful!     If   thou   art    I,    inscrutable 
image,  if  thou  dost  feel  these  pangs  thine  own,  show  then  self -mercy; 
speak!     What  art  thou?     What  am  I?     Why  are  we  here?     How 
comes  it  that  we  feel  and  guess  and  suffer?     Nay,  though  thou  answer 
not  these  doubts,  yet  mock  them,  mock  them  aloud,  even  as  there, 
monstrous,  thou  counterfeitest  mine  actions.-     Speak,  abject  enigma! 
—  Ah !  with  what  vacant  horror  it  looks  out  and  yearns  toward  me. 
Peace  to  thee!     Thou   poor   delirious  mute,   prisoned  in  glass   and 


9494  h  PERCY  MACKAYE 

moonlight,  peace!     Thou  canst  not  escape  thy  gaol,  nor  I  break  in  to 
thee.     Poor  shadow,  thou  — 

[Recoiling  wildly.] 

Stand  back,  inanity!  Thrust  not  thy  mawkish  face  in  pity  toward 
me.  Ape  and  idiot !  Scarecrow !  —  to  console  me !  Haha !  - 
A  flail  and  broomstick!  a  cob,  a  gourd  and  pumpkin,  to  fuse  and 
sublimate  themselves  into  a  mage-philosopher,  who  puffeth  meta- 
physics from  a  pipe  and  discourseth  sweet  philanthropy  to  itself  — 
itself,  God!  Dost  Thou  hear?  Itself!  For  even  such  am  I  —  I 
whom  Thou  madest  to  love  Rachel.  Why,  God  —  haha !  dost  Thou 
dwell  in  this  thing?  Is  it  Thou  that  peerest  forth  at  me  — from  me? 
Why,  hark  then;  Thou  shalt  listen,  and  answer  —  if  Thou  canst. 
Hark  then,  Spirit  of  life!  Between  the  rise  and  setting  of  a  sun,  I 
have  walked  in  this  world  of  Thine.  I  have  gazed  upon  it,  I  have 
peered  within  it,  I  have  grown  enamored,  enamored  of  it.  I  have 
been  thrilled  with  wonder,  I  have  been  calmed  with  knowledge,  I 
have  been  exalted  with  sympathy.  I  have  trembled  with  joy  and 
passion.  Power,  beauty,  love  have  ravished  me.  Infinity  itself, 
like  a  dream,  has  blazed  before  me  with  the  certitude  of  prophecy; 
and  I  have  cried,  ((This  world,  the  heavens,  time  itself,  are  mine  to 
conquer,))  and  I  have  thrust  forth  mine  arm  to  wear  Thy  shield  forever 
—  and  lo !  for  my  shield  Thou  reachest  me  a  mirror  —  and  whisperest 
((Know  thyself!  Thou  art  —  a  scarecrow:  a  tinkling  clod,  a  rigmarole 
of  dust,  a  lump  of  ordure,  contemptible,  superfluous,  inane!))  Haha! 
Hahaha!  And  with  such  scarecrows  Thou  dost  people  a  planet! 
O  ludicrous!  Monstrous!  Ludicrous!  At  least,  I  thank  Thee, 
God !  at  least,  this  breathing  bathos  can  laugh  at  itself.  At  least  this 
hotch-potch  nobleman  of  stubble  is  enough  of  an  epicure  to  turn  his  own 
gorge.  Thou  hast  vouchsafed  to  me,  Spirit,  —  hahaha !  —  to  know  my- 
self. Mine,  mine  is  the  consummation  of  man  —  even  self -contempt ! 

[Pointing  in  the  glass  with  an  agony  of  derision.] 

Scarecrow !     Scarecrow !     Scarecrow ! 

The   Image  in   the   Glass   [more  and  more  faintly]  —  Scarecrow ! 
Scarecrow !     Scarecrow ! 

[Ravensbane  throws  himself  prone  upon  the  floor,  beneath  the  window, 
sobbing.  There  is  a  pause  of  silence,  and  the  moon  shines  brighter. 
Slowly  then  Ravensbane,  getting  to  his  knees,  looks  out  into  the 
night.} 


PERCY   MACKAYE  94941 

Ravensbane  —  What  face  are  you,  high  up  through  the  twinkling 
leaves?  Why  do  you  smile  upon  me  with  such  white  beneficence? 
Or  why  do  you  place  your  viewless  hand  upon  my  brow,  and  say, 
«Be  comforted))?  Do  you  not,  like  all  the  rest,  turn,  aghast,  your 
eyes  away  from  me  —  me,  abject  enormity,  groveling  at  your  feet? 
Gracious  being,  do  you  not  fear  —  despise  me  ?  To  you  alone  am  I 
not  hateful  —  unredeemed  ?  0  white  peace  of  the  world,  beneath 
your  gaze  the  clouds  glow  silver,  and  the  herded  cattle,  slumbering 
far  afield,  crouch  —  beautiful.  The  slough  shines  lustrous  as  a 
bridal  veil.  Beautiful  face,  you  are  Rachel's,  and  you  have  changed 
the  world.  Nothing  is  mean,  but  you  have  made  it  miraculous; 
nothing  is  loathsome,  nothing  ludicrous,  but  you  have  converted  it  to 
loveliness,  that  even  this  shadow  of  a  mockery  myself,  cast  by  your 
light,  gives  me  the  dear  assurance  I  am  a  man.  Yea,  more,  that  I 
too,  steeped  in  your  universal  light,  am  beautiful.  For  you  are 
Rachel,  and  you  love  me.  You  are  Rachel  in  the  sky,  and  the  might 
of  your  serene  loveliness  has  transformed  me.  Rachel,  mistress, 
mother,  beautiful  spirit,  out  of  my  suffering  you  have  brought  forth 
my  soul.  I  am  saved! 

The  Image  in  the  Glass  —  A  very  pretty  sophistry. 

[The  moonlight  grows  dimmer,  as  at  the  passing  of  a  cloud.} 

Ravensbane  —  Ah !  what  voice  has  snatched  you  from  me  ? 
The  Image  —  A  most  poetified  pumpkin ! 

Ravensbane  —  Thing !  dost  thou  speak  at  last  ?  My  soul  abhors 
thee. 

The  Image  —  I  am  thy  soul. 
Ravensbane  —  Thou  liest. 

The  Image  —  Our  Daddy  Dickon  and  our  mother  Rickby  begot 
and  conceived  us  at  sunrise,  in  a  Jack-o'-lantern. 

Ravensbane  —  Thou  liest,  torturing  illusion.  Thou  art  but  a 
phantom  in  a  glass. 

The  Image  —  Why,  very  true.  So  art  thou.  We  are  a  pretty 
phantom  in  a  glass. 

Ravensbane  —  It  is  a  lie.  I  am  no  longer  thou.  I  feel  it ;  I  am  a 
man. 

The  Image  —  And  prithee,  -what's  a  man?     Man's  but  a  mirror, 
Wherein  the  imps  and  angels  play  charades, 
Make  faces,  mope,  and  pull  each  other's  hair  — 
Till  crack!  the  sly  urchin  Death  shivers  the  glass, 
And  the  bare  coffin  boards  show  underneath. 


9494J  PERCY  MACKAYE 

Ravensbane  —  Yea!  if  it  be  so,  thou  coggery !  if  both  of  us  be  indeed 
but  illusions,  why,  now  let  us  end  together.  But  if  it  be  not  so,  then 
let  me  for  evermore  be  free  of  thee.  Now  is  the  test  —  the  glass ! 

[Springing  to  the  fireplace,  he  seizes  an  iron  cross-piece  from  the  andirons.] 

I'll  play  your  urchin  Death  and  shatter  it.     Let's  see  what  shall 
survive ! 

[He  rushes  to  strike  the  glass  with  the  iron.     Dickon  steps  out  of  the  mirrort 
closing  the  curtain.] 

Dickon  —  I  wouldn't  really! 

Ravensbane  —  Dickon !  dear  Dickon !  is  it  you  ? 

Dickon  —  Yes,  Jacky !  it's  dear  Dickon,  and  I  really  wouldn't. 

Ravensbane  —  Wouldn't  what,  Dickon? 

Dickon  —  Sweep  the  cobwebs  off  the  sky  with  thine  aspiring 
broomstick.  When  a  man  questions  fate,  'tis  bad  digestion.  When 
a  scarecrow  does  it,  'tis  bad  taste. 

Ravensbane  —  At  last,  you  will  tell  me  the  truth,  Dickon!  Am  I 
then  —  that  thing? 

Dickon  —  You  mustn't  be  so  skeptical.  Of  course  you're  that 
thing. 

Ravensbane  —  Ah  me  despicable !  Rachel,  why  didst  thou  ever 
look  upon  me? 


9495 


NORMAN  MACLEOD 

(i8i2-i872)> 

!N  THE  present  century  the  Scottish  Church  has  given  to  the 
world  two  sons  of  pre-eminent  importance  and  influence:  Dr. 
Chalmers  and  Dr.  Norman  Macleod.  The  names  of  these 
two  men,  simple  clergymen  of  the  simple  Scottish  Church,  are  familiar 
not  only  in  Scotland  and  among  Scotsmen  all  the  world  over,  but 
among  thousands  also  of  English  and  Americans.  With  one  only  we 
have  to  do  here:  the  famous  Scottish  minister  and  Queen's  Chaplain 
who  became  so  universally  known  and  beloved  in  Scotland  that  he 
was  rarely  if  ever  alluded  to  by  his  full  name,  but  simply  as  «  Dr.  Nor- 
man » —  and  even,  in  many  localities,  merely  as  (<  Norman. »  Norman 
Macleod  was  a  notable  man  on  account  of  his  writings;  a  still  more 
notable  man  on  account  of  his  preaching  and  influence ;  possibly  more 
notable  still  as  an  ideal  type  of  the  Highlander  from  the  Highland 
point  of  view;  and  above  all,  notable  for  his  dominant  and  striking 
personality.  It  has  been  said,  and  perhaps  truly,  that  no  one  has 
taken  so  strong  a  hold  of  the  affections  of  his  countrymen  since 
Burns.  Fine  as  are  Dr.  Macleod's  writings, — notably  (  The  Reminis- 
cences of  a  Highland  Parish,*  <The  Old  Lieutenant,'  <  The  Starling,  > 
and  < Wee  Davie,  *  —  we  may  look  there  in  vain  for  adequate  sources 
of  this  wide-spread  and  still  sustained  popularity.  Fine  as  his  literary 
gifts  are,  his  supreme  gift  was  that  of  an  over-welling  human  sym- 
pathy, by  which  he  made  himself  loved,  from  the  poorest  Highland 
crofters  or  the  roughest  Glasgow  artisans  to  the  Queen  herself.  This 
is  fully  brought  out  in  the  admirable  Memoir  written  by  his  brother, 
Dr.  Donald  Macleod,  the  present  editor  of  that  well-known  magazine, 
Good  Words,  which  Dr.  Norman  began.  The  name  of  his  childhood 
and  his  family,  says  Dr.  Donald, — 

•<was  to  all  Scotland  his  title,  as  distinct  as  a  Duke's, —  Norman  Macleod; 
sometimes  the  <  Norman  >  alone  was  enough.  He  was  a  Scottish  minister,  noth- 
ing more ;  incapable  of  any  elevation  to  rank,  bound  to  mediocrity  of  means 
by  the  mere  fact  of  his  profession,  never  to  be  bishop  of  anywhere,  dean 
of  anywhere,  lord  of  anything,  so  long  as  life  held  him,  yet  everybody's  fel- 
low wherever  he  went:  dear  brother  of  the  Glasgow  workingmen  in  their 
grimy  fustians ;  of  the  Ayrshire  weavers  in  their  cottages ;  dear  friend  of  the 
sovereign  on  the  throne.  He  had  great  eloquence,  great  talent,  and  many  of 
the  characteristics  of  genius ;  but  above  all,  he  was  the  most  brotherly  of  men. 
It  is  doubtful  whether  his  works  will  live  an  independent  life  after  him: 


949^ 


NORMAN  MACLEOD 


rather,  perhaps,  it  may  be  found  that  their  popularity  depended  upon  him 
and  not  upon  them ;  and  his  personal  claims  must  fade,  as  those  who  knew  him 
follow  him  into  the  Unknown." 

And  indeed  there  could  be  no  better  summary  of  Norman  Macleod 
than  this  at  once  pious  and  just  estimate  by  his  brother. 

He  came  not  only  of  one  of  the  most  famous  Highland  clans,  but 
of  a  branch  noted  throughout  the  West  of  Scotland  for  the  stalwart 
and  ever  militant  sons  of  the  church  which  it  has  contributed  from 
generation  to  generation.  It  is  to  this  perpetuity  of  vocation,  as  well 
as  to  the  transmission  of  family  names,  that  a  good  deal  of  natural 
confusion  is  due  in  the  instance  of  writers  bearing  Highland  names, 
and  of  the  Macleods  in  particular.  <(  They're  a'  thieves,  fishermen,  or 
ministers, }>  as  is  said  in  the  West;  and  however  much  or  little  truth 
there  may  be  in  the  first,  there  is  a  certain  obvious  truth  in  the 
second,  and  a  still  more  obvious  truth  in  the  third.  Again  and  again 
it  is  stated  that  Dr.  Norman  Macleod  —  meaning  this  Norman  —  is  the 
author  of  what  is  now  the  most  famous  song  among  the  Highlanders, 
the  farewell  to  Fiunary*;  a  song  which  has  become  a  Highland 
national  lament.  But  this  song  was  really  written  by  Dr.  Norman 
Macleod  the  elder;  that  is,  the  father  of 'the  Dr.  Norman  Macleod  of 
whom  we  are  now  writing. 

Norman  Macleod  was  born  on  June  3d,  1812,  in  Campbelltown  of 
Argyll.  After  his  education  for  the  church  at  Glasgow  and  Edin- 
burgh Universities,  he  traveled  for  some  time  in  Germany  as  private 
tutor.  Some  years  after  his  ordainment  to  an  Ayrshire  parish,  he 
visited  Canada  on  ecclesiastical  business.  It  was  not  till  1851  that  he 
was  translated  to  the  church  with  which  his  name  is  so  closely  asso- 
ciated; namely,  the  Barony  Charge  in  Glasgow.'  Three  years  after 
this,  in  1854,  he  became  one  of  her  Majesty's  Chaplains  for  Scotland, 
and  Dean  of  the  Order  of  the  Thistle.  In  1860  he  undertook  the 
editorship  of  Good  Words;  and  made  this  magazine,  partly  by  his 
own  writings  and  still  more  by  his  catholic  and  wise  editorship,  one 
of  the  greatest  successes  in  periodical  literature.  Long  before  his 
death  at  the  comparatively  early  age  of  sixty,  he  had  become  famous 
as  the  most  eloquent  and  influential  of  the  Scottish  ministry;  indeed, 
so  great  was  his  repute  that  hundreds  of  loyal  Scots  from  America 
and  Australia  came  yearly  to  Scotland,  primarily  with  the  desire  to 
see  and  hear  one  whom  many  of  them  looked  to  as  the  most  emi- 
nent Scot  of  his  day.  It  was  in  his  shrewdness  of  judgment,  his 
swift  and  kindly  tact,  his  endless  fund  of  humor,  and  his  sweet 
human  sympathy,  that  the  secret  of  his  immense  influence  lay.  But 
while  it  is  by  virtue  of  his  personal  qualities  that  even  now  he  sur- 
vives in  the  memory  of  his  countrymen,  there  is  in  his  writings  much 
that  is  distinctive  and  beautiful.  Probably  *  The  Reminiscences  of  a 


NORMAN    MACLEOD 


9497 


Highland  Parish  >  will  long  be  read  for  their  broad  and  fine  sense  of 
human  life  in  all  its  ordinary  aspects.  This  book,  without  any  par- 
ticular pretensions  to  style,  is  full  of  such  kindly  insight,  such  swift 
humor,  and  such  broad  sympathy,  that  it  is  unquestionably  the  most 
characteristic  literary  work  of  its  author.  Probably,  among  his  few 
efforts  in  fiction,  the  story  known  as  < The  Old  Lieutenant  and  his 
Son >  (unless  it  be  ( The  Starling  > )  still  remains  the  most  popular. 
Curiously  enough,  although  his  sermons  stirred  all  Scotland,  there 
are  few  of  them  which  in  perusal  at  this  late  date  have  any  specially 
moving  quality,  apart  from  their  earnestness  and  native  spiritual 
beauty.  There  is  however  one  which  stands  out  above  the  others, 
and  is  to  this  day  familiar  to  thousands:  the  splendid  sermon  on 
(War  and  Judgment, J  which,  at  a  crucial  moment  in  the  history  of 
his  country,  Dr.  Norman  Macleod  preached  before  the  Queen  at  the 
little  Highland  church  of  Crathie. 

The  three  extracts  which  follow  adequately  represent  Dr.  Macleod. 
The  first  exemplifies  his  narrative  style.  The  second  depicts  those 
West  Highlands  which  he  loved  so  well  and  helped  to  make  others 
love.  The  third  is  one  of  those  little  lyrics  in  lowland  Scottish  which 
live  to  this  day  in  the  memories  of  the  people. 


THE   HOME-COMING 
From  ( The  Old  Lieutenant  and  his  Son > 

THERE  lived  in  the  old  burgh  one  of  that  class  termed  (<  fools w 
to  whom  I  have  already  alluded,  who  was  called  "daft 
Jock."  Jock  was  lame,  walked  by  the  aid  of  a  long  staff, 
and  generally  had  his  head  and  shoulders  covered  up  with  an  old 
coat.  Babby  had  a  peculiar  aversion  to  Jock;  why,  it  was  diffi- 
cult to  discover,  as  her  woman's  heart  was  kindly  disposed  to  all 
living  things.  Her  regard  was  supposed  to  have  been  partially 
alienated  from  Jock  from  his  always  calling  her  <(Wee  Babbity,}> 
accompanying  the  designation  with  a  loud  and  joyous  laugh. 
Now,  I  have  never  yet  met  a  human  being  who  was  not  weak 
on  a  point  of  personal  peculiarity  which  did  not  natter  them.  It 
has  been  said  that  a  woman  will  bear  any  amount  of  abuse  that 
does  not  involve  a  slight  upon  her  appearance.  Men  are  equally 
susceptible  of  similar  pain.  A  very  tall  or  very  fat  hero  will  be 
calm  while  his  deeds  are  criticized  or  his  fame  disparaged,  but 
will  resent  with  bitterness  any  marked  allusion  to  his  great  longi- 
tude  or  latitude.  Babby  never  could  refuse  charity  to  the  needy, 
and  Jock  was  sure  of  receiving  something  from  her  as  the  result 


949^ 


NORMAN   MACLEOD 


of  his  weekly  calls;  but  he  never  consigned  a  scrap  of  meat  to 
his  wallet  without  a  preliminary  battle.  On  the  evening  of  the 
commemoration  of  the  <(  Melampus "  engagement,  Babby  was  sit- 
ting by  the  fire  watching  a  fowl  which  twirled  from  the  string 
roasting  for  supper,  and  which  dropped  its  unctuous  lard  on  a 
number  of  potatoes  that  lay  basking  in  the  tin  receiver  below. 
A  loud  rap  was  heard  at  the  back  door;  and  to  the  question, 
(<  Who's  there  ? "  the  reply  was  heard  of  (<  Babbity,  open !  Open, 
wee  Babbity !  Hee,  hee,  hee ! " 

(<  Gae  wa  wi'  ye,  ye  daft  cratur, "  said  Babby.  <(  What  right 
hae  ye  to  disturb  folk  at  this  time  o'  nicht  ?  I'll  let  loose  the 
dog  on  you." 

Babby  knew  that  Skye  shared  her  dislike  to  Jock;  as  was 
evident  from  his  bark  when  he  rose,  and  with  curled  tail  began 
snuffing  at  the  foot  of  the  door.  Another  knock,  louder  than 
before,  made  Babby  start. 

<(  My  word,"  she  exclaimed,  (<but  ye  hae  learned  impudence ! " 
And  afraid  of  disturbing  <(the  company,"  she  opened  as  much  of 
the  door  as  enabled  her  to  see  and  rebuke  Jock.  <(  Hoo  daur  ye, 
Jock,  to  rap  sae  loud  as  that  ? " 

<(  Open,  wee,  wee,  wee  Babbity ! "  said  Jock. 

<(Ye  big,  big,  big  blackguard,  I'll  dae  naething  o'  the  kind," 
said  Babby  as  she  shut  the  door.  But  the  stick  of  the  fool  was 
suddenly  interposed.  <(  That  beats  a' !  "  said  Babby :  (<  what  the 
sorrow  d'ye  want,  Jock,  to  daur  to  presume  — " 

But  to  Babby's  horror  the  door  was  forced  open  in  the  mid- 
dle of  her  threat,  and  the  fool  entered,  exclaiming,  <(  I  want  a 
kiss,  my  wee,  wee,  bonnie  Babbity !  " 

<(  Preserve  us  a' ! "  exclaimed  Babby,  questioning  whether  she 
should  scream  or  fly,  while  the  fool,  turning  his  back  to  the 
light,  seized  her  by  both  her  wrists,  and  imprinted  a  kiss  on  her 
forehead. 

"Skye!"  half  screamed  Babby;  but  Skye  was  springing  up, 
as  if  anxious  to  kiss  Jock.  Babby  fell  back  on  a  chair,  and 
catching  a  glimpse  of  the  fool's  face,  she  exclaimed,  <(O  my 
darling,  my  darling !  O  Neddy,  Neddy,  Neddy ! "  Flinging  off 
her  cap,  as  che  always  did  on  occasions  of  great  perplexity,  she 
seized  him  by  the  hands,  and  then  sunk  back,  almost  fainting,  in 
the  chair. 

<(  Silence,  dear  Babby!"  said  Ned,  speaking  in  a  whisper;  "for 
I  want  to  astonish  the  old  couple.  How  glad  I  aw  to  see  yon[ 


NORMAN  MACLEOD 

and  they  are  all  well,  I  know;  and  Freeman  here,  too!"  Then 
seizing  the  dog,  he  clasped  him  to  his  heart,  while  the  brute 
struggled  with  many  an  eager  cry  to  kiss  his  old  master's  face. 

Ned's  impulse  from  the  first  was  to  rush  into  the  parlor;  but 
he  was  restrained  by  that  strange  desire  which  all  have  experi- 
enced in  the  immediate  anticipation  of  some  great  joy, —  to  hold 
it  from  us,  as  a  parent  does  a  child,  before  we  seize  it  and  clasp 
it  to  our  breast. 

The  small  party,  consisting  of  the  captain,  his  wife,  and  Free- 
.man,  were  sitting  round  the  parlor  fire;  Mrs.  Fleming  sewing, 
and  the  others  keeping  up  rather  a  dull  conversation,  as  those 
who  felt,  though  they  did  not  acknowledge,  the  presence  of  some- 
thing at  their  hearts  which  hindered  their  usual  freedom  and 
genial  hilarity. 

<(  Supper  should  be  ready  by  this  time,"  suggested  the  captain, 
just  as  the  scene  between  Ned  and  Babby  was  taking  place  in 
the  kitchen.  (<  Babby  and  Skye  seem  busy:  I  shall  ring,  may  I 
not  ? " 

<(  If  you  please,"  said  Mrs.  Fleming;  (( but  depend  upon  it, 
Babby  will  cause  no  unnecessary  delays.  * 

Babby  speedily  responded  to  the  captain's  ring.  On  entering 
the  room  she  burst  into  a  fit  of  laughing.  Mrs.  Fleming  put 
down  her  work  and  looked  at  her  servant  as  if  she  was  mad. 

<(  What  do  you  mean,  woman  ?  "  asked  the  captain  with  knit 
brows:  (<  I  never  saw  you  behave  so  before." 

«  Maybe  no.  Ha!  ha!  ha!"  said  Babby;  «  but  there's  a  queer 
man  wishing  to  speak  wi'  ye."  At  this  moment  a  violent  ring 
was  heard  from  the  door-bell. 

<(A  queer  man  —  wishing  to  speak  with  me  —  at  this  hour," 
muttered  the  captain,  as  if  in  utter  perplexity. 

Babby  had  retired  to  the  lobby,  and  was  ensconced,  with  her 
apron  in  her  mouth,  in  a  corner  near  the  kitchen.  <(You  had 
better  open  the  door  yersel',"  cried  Babby,  smothering  her  laugh- 
ter. 

The  captain,  more  puzzled  than  ever,  went  to  the  door,  and 
opening  it  was  saluted  with  a  gruff  voice,  saying,  « I'm  a  poor 
sailor,  sir, —  and  knows  you're  an  old  salt, —  and  have  come  to 
see  you,  sir." 

(<  See  me,  sir !  What  do  you  want  ? "  replied  the  captain 
gruffly,  as  one  whose  kindness  some  impostor  hoped  to  bene- 
fit by. 


9500  NORMAN  MACLEOD 

(<  Wants  nothing,  sir,  *  said  the  sailor,  stepping  near  the  captain. 

A  half -scream,  half-laugh  from  Babby  drew  Mrs.  Fleming  and 
Freeman  to  the  lobby. 

((You  want  nothing?  What  brings  you  to  disturb  me  at  this 
hour  of  the  night  ?  Keep  back,  sir ! " 

<(Well,  sir,  seeing  as  how  I  sailed  with  Old  Cairney,  I  thought 
you  would  not  refuse  me  a  favor, "  replied  the  sailor  in  a  hoarse 
voice. 

"Don't  dare,  sir,"  said  the  captain,  (<to  come  into  my  house 
one  step  farther,  till  I  know  more  about  you." 

<(  Now,  captain,  don't  be  angry;  you  know  as  how  that  great 
man  Nelson  expected  every  man  to  do  his  duty:  all  I  want  is 
just  to  shake  Mrs.  Fleming  by  the  hand,  and  then  I  go;  that  is, 
if  after  that  you  want  me  for  to  go." 

(<  Mrs.  Fleming ! "  exclaimed  the  captain,  with  the  indignation 
of  a  man  who  feels  that  the  time  has  come  for  open  war  as 
against  a  house-breaker.  (<  If  you  dare  —  " 

But  Mrs.  Fleming,  seeing  the  rising  storm,  passed  her  husband 
rapidly,  and  said  to  the  supposed  intruder,  whom  she  assumed  to 
be  a  tipsy  sailor,  <( There  is  my  hand,  if  that's  all  you  want:  go 
away  now  as  you  said,  and  don't  breed  any  disturbance." 

But  the  sailor  threw  his  arms  around  his  mother,  and  Babby 
rushed  forward  with  a  light;  and  then  followed  muffled  cries 
of  « Mother!"  « Father!"  <(Ned!»  «My  own  boy!"  «God  be 
praised ! "  until  the  lobby  was  emptied,  and  the  parlor  once  more 
alive  with  as  joyous  and  thankful  hearts  as  ever  met  in  (<  hamlet 
or  in  baron's  ha'!" 


HIGHLAND   SCENERY 

HER  great  delight  was  in  the  scenery  of  that  West   Highland 
country.      Italy  has  its  gorgeous  beauty,  and  is  a  magnifi- 
cent volume  of  poetry    history,  and  art,  superb  within  and 
without,  read  by  the  light  of  golden  sunsets.      Switzerland  is  the 
most  perfect  combination  of  beauty  and   grandeur;   from  its  up- 
lands—  with  grass  more  green  and  closely  shaven  than  an  English 
park;   umbrageous  with  orchards;   musical  with  rivulets;    tinkling 
with  the  bells  of  wandering  cattle  and  flocks  of  goats;  social  with 
picturesque  villages  gathered  round  the  chapel  spires  —  up  to  the 
bare  rocks  and  mighty  cataracts  of  ice;  until  the  eye  rests  on  the 


NOR1N 


95°* 


,rp  in  the  intense  blue  of 
<wn  the  whole  marvelous  picture  with 
Torway  its    peculiar   glory   of    fiords 

ling  their  v  tmong  gigantic  mount- 

lofty  precipices,  or  primeval  forests.     But  the  scenery  of  the 
:.ern   Highlands  -ctive  character  of  its  own.      It  is 

not  beauty,  in   spit-  ;h   and   oak   copse   that 

e  the  :  lochs  and  the  innumerable  bights  and  bays 

of  pearly  sand.     Nor  is  it  grandeur  —  although  there  is  a  wonder- 
ful i  tr-stretching  landscapes  of  ocean  meeting  the 
on,  or  of  h  ridges,  mingling  afar 
upper  sky.      But                                coloring  of  its  mount- 
ains; in  the  silence  of  its  untrodden  valleys;    in  the  extent  of  its 

A  undulating  moors;   in  the  sweep  of  its  rocky  corr: 
in  the  shifting  mists  and   clouds  that  hang  over  its  dark  preci- 
:   in  all  this  kind  of  s  ith  the  wild  tradii 

which   ghost-like   float  around  he 

MONGOLIAN  BUDDHISTIC  WRITING 

"    tO     the     im;  Facsimile  of  part  of  fragment  of  a  Mongolian  manuscript  of  the   XVIth 
century.     It  was  discovered  by  the  Russians  in  the  ruins  of  the 

Buddhist   monastery    of   Ablai-Kied,    a    desert  spot    near 
from   the    rest  -Of  tfle  s<>urce   of  the   river  Irtiscu. 

rocky  fastnesses,  before  they  (<  a  their  dun 

wings  from  Morven." 


MY  LITTLE  MAY 

MY  LITTLE  May  was  like  a  lintie 
Glintin'  'mang  the  flowers  o*  spring; 
Like  a  lintie  she  was  cantie, 

Like  a  lintie  she  could  sing;  — 
Singing,  milking  in  the  gloamin', 
Singing,  herding  in  the  morn, 
Singing  'mang  the  brackens  roaming, 
Singing  shearing  yellow  corn ! 
Oh  the  bonnie  dell  and  dingle, 

Oh  the  bor:  -,f  glen, 

Oh  the  bonnie  bleezin'  ingle, 
Oh  the  bonnie  but  and  ben! 

Ilka  body  smiled  that  met  her, 

Nane  were,  glad  1  f areweel ; " 


3V 

dJlVX   adjno  JqhDaunsavnBifognoM 


NORMAN   MACLEOD 

peaks  of  alabaster  snow,  clear  and  sharp  in  the  intense  blue  of 
the  cloudless  sky,  which  crown  the  whole  marvelous  picture  with 
awful  grandeur!  Norway  too  has  its  peculiar  glory  of  fiords 
worming  their  way  like  black  water-snakes  among  gigantic  mount- 
ains, lofty  precipices,  or  primeval  forests.  But  the  scenery  of  the 
Western  Highlands  has  a  distinctive  character  of  its  own.  It  is 
not  beauty,  in  spite  of  its  knolls  of  birch  and  oak  copse  that 
fringe  the  mountain  lochs  and  the  innumerable  bights  and  bays 
of  pearly  sand.  Nor  is  it  grandeur  —  although  there  is  a  wonder- 
ful vastness  in  its  far-stretching  landscapes  of  ocean  meeting  the 
horizon,  or  of  hills  beyond  hills,  in  endless  ridges,  mingling  afar 
with  the  upper  sky.  But  in  the  sombre  coloring  of  its  mount- 
ains; in  the  silence  of  its  untrodden  valleys;  in  the  extent  of  its 
bleak  and  undulating  moors;  in  the  sweep  of  its  rocky  corries; 
in  the  shifting  mists  and  clouds  that  hang  over  its  dark  preci- 
pices: in  all  this  kind  of  scenery,  along  with  the  wild  traditions 
which  ghost-like  float  around  its  ancient  keeps,  and  live  in  the 
tales  of  its  inhabitants,  there  is  a  glory  and  a  sadness,  most  affect- 
ing to  the  imagination,  and  suggestive  of  a  period  of  romance 
and  song,  of  clanships  and  of  feudal  attachments,  which,  banished 
from  the  rest  of  Europe,  took  refuge  and  lingered  long  in  those 
rocky  fastnesses,  before  they  (<  passed  away  forever  on  their  dun 
wings  from  Morven." 


MY  LITTLE  MAY 

MY  LITTLE  May  was  like  a  lintie 
Glintin'  'mang  the  flowers  o*  spring; 
Like  a  lintie  she  was  cantie, 

Like  a  lintie  she  could  sing;  — 
Singing,  milking  in  the  gloamin', 
Singing,  herding  in  the  morn, 
Singing  'mang  the  brackens  roaming, 
Singing  shearing  yellow  corn! 
Oh  the  bonnie  dell  and  dingle, 

Oh  the  bonnie  flowering  glen, 
Oh  the  bonnie  bleezin'  ingle, 
Oh  the  bonnie  but  and  ben! 

Ilka  body  smiled  that  met  her, 

Nane  were  glad  that  said  fareweel; 


NORMAN   MACLEOD 

Never  was  a  blyther,  better, 

Bonnier  bairn,  frae  croon  to  heel! 
Oh  the  bonnie  dell  and  dingle, 

Oh  the  bonnie  flowering  glen, 
Oh  the  bonnie  bleezin'  ingle, 
Oh  the  bonnie  but  and  ben! 

Blaw,  wintry  winds,  blaw  cauld  and  eerie, 

Drive  the  .sleet  and  drift  the  snaw; 
May  is  sleeping,  she  was  weary, 
For  her  heart  was  broke  in  twa! 
Oh  wae  the  dell  and  dingle, 

Oh  wae  the  flowering  glen; 
Oh  wae  aboot  the  ingle, 

Wae's  me  baith  but  and  ben! 


M 


95°3 


JOHN  BACH  MCMASTER 


IHE  change  in  aim  and  method  of  the  modern  historian  has 
kept  pace  with  the  development  of  the  democratic  idea. 
Where  before,  in  the  study  and  writing  of  history,  the  do- 
ings of  rulers  and  courts  and  the  working  of  governmental  machinery 
have  been  the  chief  points  of  interest,  to  the  exclusion  of  the  every- 
day deeds  and  needs  of  the  nation,  the  tendency  to-day  is  to  lay 
emphasis  on  the  life  of  the  people  broadly  viewed,  —  the  development 
of  the  social  organism  in  all  its  parts.  The  feeling  behind  this 
tendency  is  based  on  a  conviction  that  the 
true  vitality  of  a  country  depends  upon  the 
healthy  growth  and  general  welfare  of  the 
great  mass  of  plain  folk,  —  the  working, 
struggling,  wealth-producing  people  who 
make  it  up.  The  modern  historian,  in  a 
word,  makes  man  in  the  State,  irrespective 
of  class  or  position,  his  subject  for  sympa- 
thetic portrayal. 

This  type  of  historian  is  represented  by 
John  Bach  McMaster,  whose  <  History  of 
the  People  of  the  United  States  J  strives  to 
give  a  picture  of  social  rather  than  consti- 
tutional and  political  growth:  those  phases  JOHN  BACH  McMASTER 
of  American  history  have  been  treated  ably 

by  Adams,  Schouler,  and  others.  Professor  McMaster,  with  admirable 
lucidity  and  simplicity  of  style,  and  always  with  an  appeal  to  fact 
precluding  the  danger  of  the  subjective  writing  of  history  to  fit  a 
theory,  tells  this  vital  story  of  the  national  evolution,  and  tells  it  as 
it  has  not  been  told  before.  The  very  title  of  his  work  defines  its 
purpose.  It  is  a  history  not  of  the  United  States,  but  of  the  people 
of  the  United  States,  —  like  Green's  great  (  History  of  the  English 
People,'  another  work  having  the  same  ideal,  the  modern  attitude. 
The  period  covered  in  Professor  McMaster's  plan  is  that  reaching 
from  the  adoption  of  the  Constitution  in  1789  to  the  outbreak  of  the 
Civil  War,  —  less  than  one  hundred  years,  but  a  crucial  time  for 
the  shaping  of  the  country.  The  depiction  of  the  formative  time, 
the  day  of  the  pioneer  and  the  settler,  —  of  the  crude  beginnings  of 


9504  JOHN  BACH   MCMASTER 

civilization, —  engages  his  particular  attention  and  receives  his  most 
careful  treatment.  An  example  is  given  in  the  selection  chosen  from 
his  work,  which  gains  warmth  and  picturesqueness  in  this  way.  The 
first  volume  of  his  work  appeared  in  1883;  the  sixth  in  1908.  It  pro- 
vides an  invaluable  storehouse  of  information  on  the  life  and  manners 
of  our  growing  nation.  Professor  McMaster  has  allowed  himself 
space  and  leisure  in  order  to  make  an  exhaustive  survey  of  the  field, 
and  a  synthetic  presentation  of  the  material.  His  history  when  fin- 
ished will  be  of  very  great  value.  His  preparation  for  it  began  in 
1870,  when  he  was  a  young  student,  and  it  will  be  his  life  work  and 
monument. 

John  Bach  McMaster  was  born  in  Brooklyn,  June  29th,  1852;  and 
received  his  education  at  the  College  of  the  City  of  New  York,  his 
graduation  year  being  1872.  He  taught  a  little,  studied  civil  engi- 
neering, and  in  1877  became  instructor  in  that  branch  at  Princeton. 
Thence  he  was  called  in  1883  to  the  University  of  Pennsylvania,  to 
take  the  chair  of  American  history,  which  he  still  holds.  Professor 
McMaster  is  also  an  attractive  essayist.  His  'Benjamin  Franklin  as 
a  Man  of  Letters'  (1887)  is  an  excellent  piece  of  biography;  and 
the  volume  of  papers  called  'With  the  Fathers >  (1896)  contains  a 
series  of  historical  portraits  sound  in  scholarship  and  very  readable 
in  manner.  In  his  insistence  on  the  presenting  of  the  unadorned 
truth,  his  dislike  of  pseudo-hero  worship,  Professor  McMaster  seems  at 
times  iconoclastic.  But  while  he  is  not  entirely  free  from  prejudice, 
his  intention  is  to  give  no  false  lights  to  the  picture,  and  few  his- 
torians have  been  broader  minded  and  fairer. 


TOWN  AND  COUNTRY  LIFE   IN    1800 

From  <A  History  of  the  People  of  the  United  States  from  the  Revolution  to 
the  Civil  War.>  D.  Appleton  &  Co.,  1885.  Copyright  1885,  by  John  Bach 
McMaster. 

WHAT  was  then  known  as  the  far  West  was  Kentucky,  Ohio, 
and    central    New    York.       Into    it    the    emigrants    came 
streaming  along  either  of  two   routes.      Men  from  New 
England   took  the  most  northern,  and  went  out  by  Albany  and 
Troy  to  the  great  wilderness  which  lay  along  the   Mohawk  and 
the  lakes.     They  came  by  tens  of  thousands  from  farms  and  vil- 
lages,  and  represented  every  trade,  every  occupation,  every  walk 
in  life,  save  one:  none  were  seafarers.     No  whaler  left  his  vessel; 
no   seaman   deserted    his   mess;    no   fisherman   of    Marblehead  or 
Gloucester  exchanged  the  dangers  of  a  life  on  the  ocean  for  the 


JOHN  BACH  MCMASTER 

privations  of  a  life  in  the  West.  Their  fathers  and  their  uncles 
had  been  fishermen  before  them,  and  their  sons  were  to  follow 
in  their  steps.  Long  before  a  lad  could  nib  a  quill,  or  make  a 
pot-hook,  or  read  half  the  precepts  his  primer  contained,  he  knew 
the  name  of  every  brace  and  stay,  every  sail  and  part  of  a  Grand 
Banker  and  a  Chebacco,  all  the  nautical  terms,  what  line  and 
hook  should  be  used  for  catching  halibut  and  what  for  mackerel 
and  cod.  If  he  ever  learned  to  write,  he  did  so  at  (<  writing- 
school, })  which,  like  singing-school,  was  held  at  night,  and  to 
which  he  came  bringing  his  own  dipped  candle,  his  own  paper, 
and  his  own  pen.  The  candlestick  was  a  scooped-out  turnip,  or 
a  piece  of  board  with  a  nail  driven  through  it.  His  paper  he 
ruled  with  a  piece  of  lead,  for  the  graphite  lead-pencil  was  un- 
known. All  he  knew  of  theology,  and  much  of  his  knowledge  of 
reading  and  spelling,  was  gained  with  the  help  of  the  New  Eng- 
land Primer.  There  is  not,  and  there  never  was,  a  text-book  so 
richly  deserving  a  history  as  the  Primer.  The  earliest  mention 
of  it  in  print  now  known  is  to  be  found  in  an  almanac  for  the 
year  1691.  The  public  are  there  informed  that  a  second  impres- 
sion is  (<in  press,  and  will  suddenly  be  extant w;  and  will  con- 
tain, among  much  else  that  is  new,  the  verses  John  Rogers  the 
Martyr  made  and  left  as  a  legacy  to  his  children.  When  the 
second  impression  became  extant,  a  rude  cut  of  Rogers  lashed  to 
the  stake,  and  while  the  flames  burned  fiercely,  discoursing  to  his 
wife  and  nine  small  children,  embellished  the  verses,  as  it  has 
done  in  every  one  of  the  innumerable  editions  since  struck  off. 
The  tone  of  the  Primer  is  deeply  religious.  Two  thirds  of .  the 
four-and-twenty  pictures  placed  before  the  couplets  and  triplets 
in  rhyme,  from 

«In  Adam's  fall 
We  sinned  all,* 
to 

<(Zaccheus,  he 

Did  climb  a  tree 
Our  Lord  to  see,** 

represent  Biblical  incidents.  Twelve  <(  words  of  six  syllables >J  are 
given  in  the  spelling  lesson.  Five  of  them  are  —  abomination,  edi- 
fication, humiliation,  mortification,  purification.  More  than  half 
the  book  is  made  up  of  the  Lord's  Prayer  and  the  Creed,  some 
of  Watts's  hymns,  and  the  whole  of  that  great  Catechism  which 
one  hundred  and  twenty  divines  spent  five  years  in  preparing. 


JOHN  BACH  MCMASTER 

There  too  are  Mr.  Rogers's  verses,  and  John  Cotton's  ( Spiritual 
Milk  for  American  Babes*;  exhortations  not  to  cheat  at  play, 
not  to  lie,  not  to  use  ill  words,  not  to  call  ill  names,  not  to  be  a 
dunce,  and  to  love  school.  The  Primer  ends  with  the  famous 
dialogue  between  Christ,  Youth,  and  the  Devil. 

Moved  by  pity  and  a  wish  to  make  smooth  the  rough  path  to 
learning,  some  kind  soul  prepared  <A  Lottery-Book  for  Children.1 
The  only  difficulty  in  teaching  children  to  read  was,  he  thought, 
the  difficulty  of  keeping  their  minds  from  roaming;  and  to  (<pre^ 
vent  this  precipitancy }>  was  the  object  of  the  (  Lottery-Book. }  On 
one  side  of  each  leaf  was  a  letter  of  the  alphabet;  on  the  other 
two  pictures.  As  soon,  he  explained,  as  the  child  could  speak,  it 
should  thrust  a  pin  through  the  leaf  from  the  side  whereon  the 
pictures  were,  at  the  letter  on  the  other,  and  should  continue  to 
do  this  till  at  last  the  letter  was  pierced.  Turning  the  leaf  after 
each  trial,  the  mind  of  the  child  would  be  fixed  so  often  and  so 
long  on  the  letter  that  it  would  ever  after  be  remembered. 

.  The  illustrations  in  the  book  are  beneath  those  of  a  patent- 
medicine  almanac,  but  are  quite  as  good  as  any  that  can  be  found 
in  children's  books  of  that  day.  No  child  had  then  ever  seen 
such  specimens  of  the  wood-engraver's  and  the  printer's  and  the 
binder's  arts  as  now,  at  the  approach  of  every  Christmas,  issue 
from  hundreds  of  presses.  The  covers  of  such  chap-books  were 
bits  of  wood,  and  the  backs  coarse  leather.  On  the  covers  was 
sometimes  a  common  blue  paper,  and  sometimes  a  hideous  wall- 
paper, adorned  with  horses  and  dogs,  roosters  and  eagles,  standing 
in  marvelous  attitudes  on  gilt  or  copper  scrolls.  The  letterpress 
of  none  was  specially  illustrated,  but  the  same  cut  was  used 
again  and  again  to  express  the  most  opposite  ideas.  A  woman 
with  a  dog  holding  her  train  is  now  Vanity,  and  now  Miss  All- 
worthy  going  abroad  to  buy  books  for  her  brother  and  sister. 
A  huge  vessel  with  three  masts  is  now  a  yacht,  and  now  the 
ship  in  which  Robinson  Crusoe  sailed  from  Hull.  The  virtuous 
woman  that  is  a  crown  to  her  husband,  and  naughty  Miss  Kitty 
Bland,  are  one  and  'the  same.  Master  Friendly  listening  to  the 
minister  at  church  now  heads  a  catechism,  and  now  figures  as 
Tommy  Careless  in  the  (Adventures  of  a  Week.*  A  man  and 
woman  feeding  beggars  become,  in  time,  transformed  into  a 
servant  introducing  two  misers  to  his  mistress.  But  no  creature 
played  so  many  parts  as  a  bird,  which  after  being  named  an 
eagle,  a  cuckoo,  and  a  kite,  is  called  finally  Noah's  dove. 


JOHN   BACH   MCMASTER 

Mean  and  cheap  as  such  chap-books  were,  the  peddler  who 
hawked  them  sold  not  one  to  the  good  wives  of  a  fishing  village. 
The  women  had  not  the  money  to  buy  with;  the  boys  had  not 
the  disposition  to  read.  Till  he  was  nine,  a  lad  did  little  more 
than  watch  the  men  pitch  pennies  in  the  road,  listen  to  sea 
stories,  and  hurry,  at  the  cry  of  ((  Rock  him,"  <(  Squail  him,"  to 
help  his  playmates  pelt  with  stones  some  unoffending  boy  from  a 
neighboring  village.  By  the  time  he  had  seen  his  tenth  birth- 
day he  was  old  enough  not  to  be  seasick,  not  to  cry  during  a 
storm  at  sea,  and  to  be  of  some  use  about  a  ship;  and  went  on 
his  first  trip  to  the  Banks.  The  skipper  and  the  crew  called  him 
'( cut-tail " ;  for  he  received  no  money  save  for  the  fish  he  caught, 
and  each  one  he  caught  was  marked  by  snipping  a  piece  from 
the  tail.  After  an  apprenticeship  of  three  or  four  years  the 
r< cut-tail"  became  a  <( header,"  stood  upon  the  same  footing  as 
the  <(sharesmen,"  and  learned  all  the  duties  which  a  <(  splitter" 
and  a  (<salter"  must  perform.  A  crew  numbered  eight;  four  were 
"sharesmen"  and  four  were  apprentices;  went  twice  a  year  to 
the  Banks,  and  stayed  each  time  from  three  to  five  months. 

Men  who  had  passed  through  such  a  training  were  under  no 
temptation  to  travel  westward.  They  took  no  interest,  they  bore 
no  part  in  the  great  exodus.  They  still  continued  to  make  their 
trips  and  bring  home  their  <( fares";  while  hosts  of  New-England- 
ers  poured  into  New  York,  opening  the  valleys,  founding  cities, 
and  turning  struggling  hamlets  into  villages  of  no  mean  kind. 
Catskill,  in  1792,  numbered  ten  dwellings  and  owned  one  vessel 
of  sixty  tons.  In  1800  there  were  in  the  place  one  hundred 
and  fifty-six  houses,  two  ships,  a  schooner,  and  eight  sloops  of 
one  hundred  tons  each,  all  owned  there  and  employed  in  carry- 
ing produce  to  New  York.  Six  hundred  and  twenty-four  bushels 
of  wheat  were  brought  to  the  Catskill  market  in  1792.  Forty- 
six  thousand  one  hundred  and  sixty-four  bushels  came  in  1800. 
On  a  single  day  in  1801  the  merchants  bought  four  thousand 
one  hundred  and  eight  bushels  of  wheat,  and  the  same  day 
eight  hundred  loaded  sleighs  came  into  the  village  by  the  west- 
ern road.  In  1790  a  fringe  of  clearings  ran  along  the  western 
shore  of  Lake  Champlain  to  the  northern  border,  and  pushed 
out  through  the  broad  valley  between  the  Adirondacks  and  the 
Catskills  to  Seneca  and  Cayuga  Lakes.  In  1800  the  Adirondack 
region  was  wholly  surrounded.  The  emigrants  had  passed  Oneida 
Lake,  had  passed  Oswego,  and  skirting  the  shores  of  Ontario 


JOHN   BACH  MCMASTER 

and  the  banks  of  the  St.  Lawrence,  had  joined  with  those  on 
Lake  Champlain.  Some  had  gone  down  the  valleys  of  the 
Delaware  and  Siisquehanna  to  the  southern  border  of  the  State. 
The  front  of  emigration  was  far  beyond  Elmira  and  Bath.  Just 
before  it  went  the  speculators,  the  land-jobbers,  the  men  afflicted 
with  what  in  derision  was  called  <(  terraphobia. }>  They  formed 
companies  and  bought  millions  of  acres.  They  went  singly  and 
purchased  whole  townships  as  fast  as  the  surveyors  could  locate; 
buying  on  trust  and  selling  for  wheat,  for  lumber,  for  whatever 
the  land  could  yield  or  the  settler  give.  Nor  was  the  pioneer 
less  infatuated.  An  irresistible  longing  drove  him  westward,  and 
still  westward,  till  some  Indian  scalped  him,  or  till  hunger,  want, 
bad  food,  and  exposure  broke  him  down,  and  the  dreaded  Genesee 
fever  swept  him  away.  The  moment  such  a  man  had  built  a 
log  cabin,  cleared  an  acre,  girdled  the  trees,  and  sowed  a  hand- 
ful of  grain,  he  was  impatient  to  be  once  more  moving.  He  had 
no  peace  till  his  little  farm  was  sold,  and  he  had  plunged  into 
the  forest  to  seek  a  new  and  temporary  home.  The  purchaser 
in  time  would  make  a  few  improvements,  clear  a  few  more  acres, 
plant  a  little  more  grain,  and  then  in  turn  sell  and  hurry  west- 
ward. After  him  came  the  founders  of  villages  and  towns,  who, 
when  the  cabins  about  them  numbered  ten,  felt  crowded  and 
likewise  moved  away.  Travelers  through  the  Genesee  valley  tell 
us  they  could  find  no  man  who  had  not  in  this  way  changed 
his  abode  at  least  six  times.  The  hardships  which  these  people 
endured  is  beyond  description.  Their  poverty  was  extreme. 
Nothing  was  so  scarce  as  food;  many  a  wayfarer  was  turned 
from  their  doors  with  the  solemn  assurance  that  they  had  not 
enough  for  themselves.  The  only  window  in  many  a  cabin  was 
a  hole  in  the  roof  for  the  smoke  to  pass  through.  In  the  win- 
ter the  snow  beat  through  the  chinks  and  sifted  under  the  door, 
till  it  was  heaped  up  about  the  sleepers  on  the  floor  before  the 
fire.  .  .  . 

Beyond  the  Blue  Ridge  everything  was  most  primitive.  Half 
the  roads  were  <(  traces  }>  and  blazed.  More  than  half  the  houses, 
even  in  the  settlements,  were  log  cabins.  When  a  stranger  came 
to  such  a  place  to  stay,  the  men  built  him  a  cabin  and  made 
the  building  an  occasion  for  sport.  The  trees  felled,  four  corner- 
men were  elected  to  notch  the  logs;  and  while  they  were  busy 
the  others  ran  races,  wrestled,  played  leap-frog,  kicked  the  hat, 
fought,  gouged,  gambled,  drank,  did  everything  then  considered 


JOHN  BACH  MCMASTER 

an  amusement.  After  the  notching  was  finished  the  raising  took 
but  a  few  hours.  Many  a  time  the  cabin  was  built,  roofed,  the 
door  and  window  cut  out,  and  the  owner  moved  in,  before  sun- 
down. The  chinks  were  stopped  with  chips  and  smeared  with 
mud.  The  chimney  was  of  logs,  coated  with  mud  six  inches 
thick.  The  table  and  the  benches,  the  bedstead  and  the  door, 
were  such  as  could  be  made  with  an  axe,  an  auger,  and  a  saw. 
A  rest  for  the  rifle  and  some  pegs  for  clothes  completed  the 
fittings. 

The  clothing  of  a  man  was  in  summer  a  wool  hat,  a  blue 
linsey  hunting-shirt  with  a  cape,  a  belt  with  a  gayly  colored 
fringe,  deerskin  or  linsey  pantaloons,  and  moccasins  and  shoe- 
packs  of  tanned  leather.  Fur  hats  were  not  common.  A  boot 
was  rarely  to  be  seen.  In  winter,  a  striped  linsey  vest  and  a 
white  blanket  coat  were  added.  If  the  coat  had  buttons  —  and  it 
seldom  had  —  they  were  made  by  covering  slices  of  a  cork  with 
bits  of  blanket.  Food  which  he  did  not  obtain  by  his  rifle  and 
his  traps  he  purchased  by  barter.  Corn  was  the  staple;  and  no 
mills  being  near,  it  was  pounded  between  two  stones  or  rubbed 
on  a  grater.  Pork  cost  him  twelve  cents  a  pound,  and  salt 
four.  Dry  fish  was  a  luxury,  and  brought  twenty  cents  a  pound. 
Sugar  was  often  as  high  as  forty.  When  he  went  to  a  settle- 
ment he  spent  his  time  at  the  billiard-table,  or  in  the  <(  keg 
grocery  J>  playing  Loo  or  (<  Finger  in  Danger, w  to  determine  who 
should  pay  for  the  whisky  consumed.  Pious  men  were  terrified 
at  the  drunkenness,  the  vice,  the  gambling,  the  brutal  fights, 
the  gouging,  the  needless  duels  they  beheld  on  every  hand. 
Already  the  Kentucky  boatmen  had  become  more  dreaded  than 
the  Indians.  <(A  Kentuc0  in  1800  had  much  the  same  meaning 
that  (<  a  cowboy  w  has  now.  He  was  the  most  reckless,  fearless, 
law-despising  of  men.  A  common  description  of  him  was  half 
horse,  half  alligator,  tipped  with  snapping-turtle. 

On  a  sudden  this  community,  which  the  preachers  had  often 
called  Satan's  stronghold,  underwent  a  moral  awakening  such  as 
this  world  had  never  beheld. 

Two  young  men  began  the  great  work  in  the  summer  of  1799. 
They  were  brothers,  preachers,  and  on  their  way  across  the 
pine  barrens  to  Ohio,  but  turned  aside  to  be  present  at  a  sacra- 
mental solemnity  on  Red  River.  The  people  were  accustomed 
to  gather  at  such  times  on  a  Friday,  and  by  praying,  singing, 
and  hearing  sermons,  prepare  themselves  for  the  reception  of  the 


95IO  JOHN  BACH  MCMASTER 

sacrament  on  Sunday.  At  the  Red  River  meeting  the  brothers 
were  asked  to  preach,  and  one  did  so  with  astonishing  fervor. 
As  he  spoke,  the  people  were  deeply  moved;  tears  ran  streaming 
down  their  faces,  and  one,  a  woman  far  in  the  rear  of  the  house, 
broke  through  order  and  began  to  shout.  For  two  hours  after 
the  regular  preachers  had  gone,  the  crowd  lingered  and  were 
loath  to  depart.  While  they  tarried,  one  of  the  brothers  was 
irresistibly  impelled  to  speak.  He  rose  and  told  them  that  he 
felt  called  to  preach,  that  he  could  not  be  silent.  The  words 
which  then  fell  from  his  lips  roused  the  people  before  him  <(  to  a 
pungent  sense  of  sin.'0  Again  and  again  the  woman  shouted, 
and  would  not  be  silent.  He  started  to  go  to  her.  The  crowd 
begged  him  to  turn  back.  Something  within  him  urged  him  on, 
and  he  went  through  the  house  shouting  and  exhorting  and 
praising  God.  In  a  moment  the  floor,  to  use  his  own  words, 
(<was  covered  with  the  slain. "  Their  cries  for  mercy  were 
terrible  to  hear.  Some  found  forgiveness,  but  many  went  away 
(<  spiritually  wounded )J  and  suffering  unutterable  agony  of  soul. 
Nothing  could  allay  the  excitement.  Every  settlement  along  the 
Green  River  and  the  Cumberland  was  full  of  religious  fervor. 
Men  fitted  their  wagons  with  beds  and  provisions,  and  traveled 
fifty  miles  to  camp  upon  the  ground  and  hear  him  preach. 
The  idea  was  new;  hundreds  adopted  it,  and  camp-meetings 
began.  There  was  now  no  longer  any  excuse  to  stay  away 
from  preaching.  Neither  distance,  nor  lack  of  houses,  nor  scar- 
city of  food,  nor  daily  occupations  prevailed.  Led  by  curiosity, 
by  excitement,  by  religious  zeal,  families  of  every  Protestant 
denomination — Baptists,  Methodists,  Presbyterians,  Episcopalians 
—  hurried  to  the  camp-ground.  Crops  were  left  half  gathered; 
every  kind  of  work  was  left  undone;  cabins  were  deserted;  in 
large  settlements  there  did  not  remain  one  soul.  The  first 
regular  general  camp-meeting  was  held  at  the  Gasper  River 
Church,  in  July,  1800;  but  the  rage  spread,  and  a  dozen  encamp- 
ments followed  in  quick  succession.  Camp-meeting  was  always 
in  the  forest  near  some  little  church,  which  served  as  the  preach- 
ers' lodge.  At  one  end  of  a  clearing  was  a  rude  stage,  and 
before  it  the  stumps  and  trunks  of  hewn  trees,  on  which  the 
listeners  sat.  About  the  clearing  were  the  tents  and  wagons 
ranged  in  rows  like  streets.  The  praying,  the  preaching,  the 
exhorting  would  sometimes  last  for  seven  days,  and  be  prolonged 
every  day  until  darkness  had  begun  to  give  way  to  light.  Nor 


JOHN   BACH   MCM ASTER  95II 

were  the  ministers  the  only  exhorters.  Men  and  women,  nay, 
even  children  took  part.  At  Cane  Ridge  a  little  girl  of  seven 
sat  upon  the  shoulder  of  a  man  and  preached  to  the  multitude 
till  she  sank  exhausted  on  her  bearer's  head.  At  Indian  Creek  a 
lad  of  twelve  mounted  a  stump  and  exhorted  till  he  grew  weak, 
whereupon  two  men  upheld  him,  and  he  continued  till  speech 
was  impossible.  A  score  of  sinners  fell  prostrate  before  him. 

At  no  time  was  the  (<  falling  exercise  }>  so  prevalent  as  at  night. 
Nothing  was  then  wanting  that  could  strike  terror  into  minds 
weak,  timid,  and  harassed.  The  red  glare  of  the  camp-fires  re- 
flected from  hundreds  of  tents  and  wagons;  the  dense  blackness 
of  the  flickering  shadows,  the  darkness  of  the  surrounding  forest, 
made  still  more  terrible  by  the  groans  and  screams  of  the  <(  spir- 
itually wounded, }>  who  had  fled  to  it  for  comfort;  the  entreaty 
of  the  preachers;  the  sobs  and  shrieks  of  the  downcast  still  walk- 
ing through  the  dark  valley  of  the  Shadow  of  Death;  the  shouts 
and  songs  of  praise  from  the  happy  ones  who  had  crossed  the 
Delectable  Mountains,  had^gone  on  through  the  fogs  of  the  En- 
chanted Ground,  and  entered  the  land  of  Beulah,  were  too  much 
for  those  over  whose  minds  and  bodies  lively  imaginations  held 
full  sway.  The  heart  swelled,  the  nerves  gave  way,  the  hands 
and  feet  grew  cold,  and  motionless  and  speechless  they  fell  head- 
long to  the  ground.  In  a  moment  crowds  gathered  about  them 
to  pray  and  shout.  Some  lay  still  as  death.  Some  passed 
through  frightful  twitchings  of  face  and  limb.  At  Cabin  Creek 
so  many  fell,  that  lest  the  multitude  should  tread  on  them,  they 
were  carried  to  the  meeting-house  and  laid  in  rows  on  the  floor. 
At  Cane  Ridge  the  number  was  three  thousand. 

The  recollection  of  that  famous  meeting  is  still  preserved  in 
Kentucky,  where,  not  many  years  since,  old  men  could  be  found 
whose  mothers  had  carried  them  to  the  camp-ground  as  infants, 
and  had  left  them  at  the  roots  of  trees  and  behind  logs  while 
the  preaching  and  exhorting  continued.  Cane  Ridge  meeting- 
house stood  on  a  well-shaded,  well-watered  spot,  seven  miles  from 
the  town  of  Paris.  There  a  great  space  had  been  cleared,  a 
preacher's  stand  put  up,  and  a  huge  tent  stretched  to  shelter  the 
crowd  from  the  sun  and  rain.  But  it  did  not  cover  the  twen- 
tieth  part  of  the  people  who  came.  Every  road  that  led  to  the 
ground  is  described  to  have  presented  for  several  days  an  almost 
unbroken  line  of  wagons,  horses,  and  men.  One  who  saw  the 
meeting  when  it  had  just  begun  wrote  home  to  Philadelphia  that 


JOHN  BACH  McM  ASTER 

wagons  covered  an  area  as  large  as  that  between  Market  Street 
and  Chestnut,  Second  and  Third.  Another,  who  counted  them, 
declared  they  numbered  eleven  hundred  and  forty-five.  Seven 
hundred  and  fifty  lead  tokens,  stamped  with  the  letters  A  or  B, 
were  given  by  the  Baptists  to  communicants;  and  there  were  still 
upward  of  four  hundred  who  received  none.  Old  soldiers  who 
were  present,  and  claimed  to  know  something  of  the  art  of  esti- 
mating the  numbers  of  masses  of  men,  put  down  those  encamped 
at  the  Cane  Ridge  meeting  as  twenty  thousand  souls.  The  ex- 
citement surpassed  anything  that  had  been  known.  Men  who 
came  to  scoff  remained  to  preach.  All  day  and  all  night  the 
crowd  swarmed  to  and  fro  from  preacher  to  preacher,  singing, 
shouting,  laughing,  now  rushing  off  to  listen  to  some  new  ex- 
horter  who  had  climbed  upon  a  stump,  now  gathering  around 
some  unfortunate,  who  in  their  peculiar  language  was  <(  spiritu- 
ally slain. w  Soon  men  and  women  fell  in  such  numbers  that  it 
became  impossible  for  the  multitude  to  move  about  without 
trampling  them,  and  they  were  hurried  to  the  meeting-house. 
At  no  time  was  the  floor  less  than  half  covered.  Some  lay  quiet, 
unable  to  move  or  speak.  Some  talked  but  could  not  move. 
Some  beat  the  floor  with  their  heels.  Some,  shrieking  in  agony, 
bounded  about,  it  is  said,  like  a  live  fish  out  of  water.  Many 
lay  down  and  rolled  over  and  over  for  hours  at  a  time.  Others 
rushed  wildly  over  the  stumps  and  benches,  and  then  plunged, 
shouting  (<  Lost !  Lost !  w  into  the  forest. 

As  the  meetings  grew  more  and  more  frequent,  this  nervous 
excitement  assumed  new  and  more  terrible  forms.  One  was 
known  as  jerking;  another,  as  the  barking  exercise;  a  third,  as 
the  Holy  Laugh.  <(The  jerks*  began  in  the  head  and  spread 
rapidly  to  the  feet.  The  head  would  be  thrown  from  side  to  side 
so  swiftly  that  the  features  would  be  blotted  out  and  the  hair 
made  to  snap.  When  the  body  was  affected,  the  sufferer  was 
hurled  over  hindrances  that  came  in  his  way,  and  finally  dashed 
on  the  ground  to  bounce  about  like  a  ball.  At  camp-meetings  in 
the  far  South,  saplings  were  cut  off  breast-high  and  left  <(for  the 
people  to  jerk  by."  One  who  visited  such  a  camp-ground  declares 
that  about  the  roots  of  from  fifty  to  one  hundred  saplings  the 
earth  was  kicked  up  (<  as  by  a  horse  stamping  flies. >}  There  only 
the  lukewarm,  the  lazy,  the  half-hearted,  the  indolent  professor 
was  afflicted.  Pious  men,  and  scoffing  physicians  who  sought  to 
get  the  jerks  that  they  might  speculate  upon  them,  were  not 


JOHN   BACH  MCMASTER 

touched.  But  the  scoffer  did  not  always  escape.  Not  a  professor 
of  religion  within  the  region  of  the  great  revival  but  had  heard 
or  could  tell  of  some  great  conversion  by  special  act  of  God. 
One  disbeliever,  it  was  reported,  while  cursing  and  swearing,  had 
been  crushed  by  a  tree  falling  on  him  at  the  Cane  Ridge  meet- 
ing. Another  was  said  to  have  mounted  his  horse  to  ride  away, 
when  the  jerks  seized  him,  pulled  his  feet  from  the  stirrups, 
and  flung  him  on  the  ground,  whence  he  rose  a  Christian  man. 
A  lad  who  feigned  sickness,  kept  from  church,  and  lay  abed,  was 
dragged  out  and  dashed  against  the  wall  till  he  betook  himself 
to  prayer.  When  peace  was  restored  to  him,  he  passed  out  into 
his  father's  tan-yard  to  unhair  a  hide.  Instantly  the  knife  left  his 
hand,  and  he  was  drawn  over  logs  and  hurled  against  trees  and 
fences  till  he  began  to  pray  in  serious  earnest.  A  foolish  woman 
who  went  to  see  the  jerks  was  herself  soon  rolling  in  the  mud. 
Scores  of  such  stories  passed  from  mouth  to  mouth,  and  may  now 
be  read  in  the  lives  and  narratives  of  the  preachers.  The  com- 
munity seemed  demented.  From  the  nerves  and  muscles  the  dis- 
order passed  to  the  mind.  Men  dreamed  dreams  and  saw  visions, 
nay,  fancied  themselves  dogs,  went  down  on  all  fours,  and  barked 
till  they  grew  hoarse.  It  was  no  uncommon  sight  to  behold 
numbers  of  them  gathered  about  a  tree,  barking,  yelping,  ft  treeing 
the  Devil."  Two  years  later,  when  much  of  the  excitement  of  the 
great  revival  had  gone  down,  falling  and  jerking  gave  way  to 
hysterics.  During  the  most  earnest  preaching  and  exhorting, 
even  sincere  professors  of  religion  would  on  a  sudden  burst  into 
loud  laughter;  others,  unable  to  resist,  would  follow,  and  soon  the 
assembled  multitude  would  join  in.  This  was  the  <(  Holy  Laugh, }) 
and  became,  after  1803,  a  recognized  part  of  worship. 


EFFECTS   OF   THE   EMBARGO   OF    1807 

From  a  < History  of  the  People  of  the  United 'States  from  the  Revolution  to 
the  Civil  War.>  D.  Appleton  &  Co.,  1885.  Copyright  1885,  by  John  Bach 
McMaster./ 

PARALYSIS  seized  on  the  business  of  the  coast  towns  and  began 
to    spread    inward.      Ships    were    dismantled    and    left    half 
loaded  at  the  wharves.     Crews  were  discharged.     The  sound 
of  the  caulking-hammer  was  no  longer  heard  in  the  ship-yards. 
The    sail-lofts    were    deserted,    the    rope-walks   were    closed;    the 


95  r  4  JOHN  BACH  MCMASTER 

cartmen  had  nothing  to  do.  In  a  twinkling-  the  price  of  every 
domestic  commodity  went  down,  and  the  price  of  every  foreign 
commodity  went  up.  But  no  wages  were  earned,  no  business 
was  done,^  and  money  almost  ceased  to  circulate.  .  .  . 

The  federal  revenues  fell  from  sixteen  millions  to  a  few 
thousands.  .  .  .  The  value  of  the  shipping  embargoed  has 
been  estimated  at  fifty  millions;  and  as  the  net  earnings  were 
twenty-five  per  cent.,  twelve  and  a  half  millions  more  were 
lost  to  the  country  through  the  enforced  idleness  of  the  vessels. 
From  an  estimate  made  at  the  time,  it  appears  that  one  hundred 
thousand  men  were  believed  to  have  been  out  of  work  for  one 
year.  They  earned  from  forty  cents  to  one  dollar  and  thirty- 
three  cents  per  day.  Assuming  a  dollar  as  the  average  rate  of 
daily  wages,  the  loss  to  the  laboring  class  was  in  round  numbers 
thirty-six  millions  of  dollars.  On  an  average,  thirty  millions  had 
been  invested  annually  in  the  purchase  of  foreign  and  domestic 
produce.  As  this  great  sum  was  now  seeking  investment  which 
could,  not  be  found,  its  owners  were  deprived  not  only  of  their 
profits,  but  of  two  millions  of  interest  besides. 

Unable  to  bear  the  strain,  thousands  on  thousands  went  to 
the  wall.  The  newspapers  were  full  of  insolvent-debtor  notices. 
All  over  the  country  the  court-house  doors,  the  tavern  doors, 
the  post-offices,  the  cross-road  posts,  were  covered  with  advertise- 
ments of  sheriffs'  sales.  In  the  cities  the  jails  were  not  large 
enough  to  hold  the  debtors.  At  New  York  during  1809  thirteen 
hundred  men  were  imprisoned  for  no  other  crime  than  being 
ruined  by  the  embargo.  A  traveler  who  saw  the  city  in  this 
day  of  distress  assures  us  that  it  looked  like  a  town  ravaged  by 
pestilence.  The  counting-houses  were  shut  or  advertised  to  let. 
The  coffee-houses  were  almost  empty.  The  streets  along  the 
water-side  were  almost  deserted.  The  ships  were  dismantled; 
their  decks  were  cleared,  their  hatches  were  battened  down/  Not 
a  box,  not  a  cask,  not  a  barrel,  not  a  bale  was  to  be  seen  on 
the  wharves,  where  the  grass  had  begun  to  grow  luxuriantly.  A 
year  later,  in  this  same  city,  eleven  hundred  and  fifty  men  were 
confined  for  debts  under  twenty-five  dollars,  and  were  clothed  by 
the  Humane  Society. 


ANDREW  MACPHAIL 

(1864-) 

BY   ARCHIBALD   MACMECHAN 

IHE  tiny  province  of  Prince  Edward  Island  is  noted  for  the 
pastoral  beauty  of  its  landscape  and  well  deserves  its  by-name, 
the  Garden  of  the  Gulf.  Here,  in  the  Highland  settlement 
of  Orwell,  a  rich  farming  district,  Andrew  Macphail  was  born  on  Novem- 
ber 24th,  1864.  His  father,  William  Macphail  (who  had  been  ship- 
wrecked on  the  voyage  out  from  Scotland  and  had  lost  all  he  possessed 
except  his  copy  of  (Horace))  was  first  a  farmer-schoolmaster  at  Orwell, 
afterwards  inspector  or  ((visitor))  of  schools,  and  ultimately  superinten- 
dent of  the  provincial  asylum  for  the  insane. 

Andrew  Macphail  attended  Prince  of  Wales  College  in  Charlotte- 
town,  the  chief  educational  institution  of  the  province,  and  in  1883 
became  principal  of  the  Fanning  Gramma  School,  a  post  he  held  for 
two  years.  In  1885  he  began  his  studies  at  McGill  University,  supple- 
menting his  means  by  writing  for  various  local  papers  and  by  acting 
as  tutor,  and  was  graduated  in  both  arts  and  medicine  within  six 
years.  He  then  went  to  London  to  continue  his  medical  studies  after 
graduation.  He  also  visited  the  East  in  the  interests  of  a  newspaper 
syndicate. 

In  1893,  he  married  Georgina  Burland,  a  lady  of  rare  endowments, 
who  died  in  1902,  leaving  a  son  and  a  daughter. 

Up  to  the  outbreak  of  the  Great  War  Macphail  practised  medicine 
in  Montreal,  spending  his  summers  on  the  paternal  acres  at  Orwell, 
engaged  in  his  favorite  recreation  of  farming.  He  was  Professor  of 
Pathology  in  the  University  of  Bishop's  College,  Lennoxville,  Patholo- 
gist to  the  Western  Hospital,  and  to  Verdun  Hospital  for  the  Insane, 
and  Professor  of  the  History  of  Medicine  in  McGill  University.  In 
1915,  as  a  captain  in  No.  6  Field  Ambulance  of  the  Canadian  Expedi- 
tionary Force,  he  followed  his  brother  Alexander  and  his  son  Jeffrey 
overseas.  He  obtained  the  post,  he  said,  not  on  account  of  his  medical 
knowledge,  but  because,  forty  years  before,  he  had  learned  to  ride  a  horse. 

Macphail's  literary  work  is  notable  for  its  variety.  Countless 
articles,  a  novel,  some  verse,  an  unpublished  play,  three  volumes  of 
essays,  stand  to  the  credit  of  his  untiring  pen.  He  has  managed  two 
important  publications  with  conspicuous  success,  The  Canadian  Medical 
Journal  and  The  University  Magazine.  During  the  war,  he  has  found 
time  to  complete  and  see  through  the  press  his  remarkable  anthology, 
(The  Book  of  Sorrow.)  He  has  assisted  generously  in  other  literary 


95l4b  ANDREW    MACPHAIL 

undertakings  such  as  the  publication  of  Miss  Marjorie  Pickthall's 
exquisite  poems. 

His  first  book,  (Essays  in  Puritanism)  (1905),  consists  of  five 
critical  studies  of  such  diverse  personalities  as  Jonathan  Edwards,  who 
manifested  the  spirit  of  Puritanism  in  the  pulpit,  John  Winthrop,  who 
showed  that  spirit  at  work  in  the  world,  Margaret  Fuller,  who  reacted 
against  that  spirit  in  one  way,  and  Walt  Whitman,  who  rebelled  against 
it  in  another.  The  fifth  essay  is  a  sympathetic  appreciation  of  the 
character  and  work  of  John  Wesley.  The  essays  were  prepared  first 
for  the  Pen  and  Pencil  Club  of  Montreal.  They  set  all  the  five  charac- 
ters studied  in  a  new  light.  The  style  is  masculine  and  distinguished 
by  quiet  irony,  caustic  wit,  and  incisive  vigor  of  phrase. 

With  the  by-products,  apparently,  of  the  research  involved  in  these 
studies,  he  constructed  his  second  book,  (The  Vine  of  Sibmah)  (1906). 
This  is  an  historical  romance  of  Puritan  New  England  shortly  after  the 
Restoration.  It  recounts  in  the  first  person  the  adventures  of  a  young 
Roundhead  captain  by  sea  and  land,  and  reproduces  skillfully  the 
((jargon -of  enthusiasm))  in  which  the  Puritans  expressed  themselves. 
Though  a  strong  piece  of  work,  it  was  but  coldly  received. 

In  1907  Macphail  launched  The  University  Magazine,  a  quarterly 
review.  It  had  its  origin  in  McGill  University  but  Toronto  and  Dal- 
housie  also  associated  themselves  in  the  enterprise.  Macphail  adopted 
the  principle  (new  in  Canada)  of  paying  contributors  a  living  wage  and 
he  proved  himself  an  editor  of  tact  and  sound  judgment.  The  policy  of 
paying  for  contributions  brought  out  unsuspected  strength  of  native 
talent.  It  was  even  a  commercial  success.  Not  a  little  of  the  success, 
however,  was  due  to  the  editor's  own  vigorous  articles.  While  offering 
an  open  forum  for  the  discussion  of  all  problems  in  literature,  art, 
philosophy,  and  religion,  the  chief  concern  was  Canadian  and  Imperial 
politics. 

In  1909,  Macphail  published  a  collection  of  his  papers  which  had 
already  appeared  in  magazines,  under  the  title  (Essays  in  Politics.) 
No  more  able  or  impartial  political  criticism  had  appeared  in  Canada. 
It  was  free  from  partisan  bias  and  the  point  of  view  was  fresh. 

In  1910  appeared  the  (Essays  in  Fallacy,)  containing  perhaps 
MacphaiPs  most  serious  and  valuable  criticism. 

No  other  Canadian  writer  has  exercised  the  critical  faculty  as  widely 
as  Macphail,  or  presents  such  a  mass  of  reasoned  opinion  upon  so  many 
themes  of  perennial  human  interest.  At  times,  the  full  force  of  his 
judgments  is  not  felt  through  the  subtlety  of  his  irony  and  his  Scottish 
preference  for  the  understatement.  Generally  destructive,  as  criticism 
must  in  its  nature  be,  his  discussions,  especially  in  the  domain  of  Cana- 
dian politics,  tend  to  build  up  sound  national  sentiment  and  to  encourage 
clear  thinking. 


ANDREW    MACPHAIL  95I4C 

PSYCHOLOGY  OF  THE  SUFFRAGETTE 

From    (Essays    in    Fallacy)    Longmans,    Green   &    Co.      Copyright   by   Andrew 

Macphail. 

To  get  at  the  root  of  the  matter,  we  must  understand  the  essential 
character  of  the  feminine  nature,  and  if  we  discover  that  it  is 
good,  neutral,  or  bad,  we  must  remember  that  man  has  made 
it  so.  The  praise  or  blame  is  to  us.  Therefore  we  are  in  reality 
investigating  ourselves.  There  is  a  German  saying:  From  a  woman 
you  can  learn  nothing  of  a  woman.  As  Immanuel  Kant  explains  it: 
woman  does  not  betray  her  secret.  And  yet,  the  only  secret  which  is 
well  kept  is  that  which  is  no  secret  at  all.  Possibly  this  is  the  reason 
why  women  and  Freemasons  have  been  so  successful  in  guarding 
theirs.  The  revelation  which  women  in  their  writings  make  of  them- 
selves is  incomplete  because  they  are  incapable  of  that  intellectual 
effort  by  which  complete  detachment  is  obtained.  All  the  ((Con- 
fessions)) have  been  done  by  men,  St.  Augustine,  Montaigne,  Pepys, 
Rousseau,  Amiel,  and  by  those  immodest  writers  of  the  past  ten  years 
whose  confessions  are  so  tiresome  because  they  have  so  little  to  confess, 
and  therefore  experience  none  of  that  reminiscitory  pleasure  which 
makes  the  confessional  so  popular. 

It  was  a  reflection  of  Joseph  de  Maistre:  ((I  do  not  know  what  the 
heart  of  a  rascal  may  be;  I  know  what  is  in  the  heart  of  an  honest 
man:  it  is  horrible.))  Only  a  man  is  capable  of  making  this  true 
reflection  and  of  confessing  not  alone  faults  which  do  not  dishonor, 
but  secrets  which  are  ridiculous  and  mortal  sins  which  are  without 
extenuation.  One  may  well  believe  that  Chateaubriand  in  his 
(Memoires  d'Outre-tombe,)  Lamartine  in  his  (Confidences,)  Renan 
in  his  ( Souvenirs, )  even  without  being  consciously  insincere  or  lacking 
in  veracity,  refrained  from  mentioning  those  cruelly  painful  reminis- 
cences with  which  Rousseau  scourged  himself;  but  one  is  considered 
simple-minded  indeed  who  believes  that  George  Sand  tells  us  as  much 
as  she  can  remember  in  ( L'Histoire  de  ma  Vie. )  This  charge  which 
Mr.  Jules  Lemaitre  brings  against  George  Sand  finds  its  explanation 
in  the  fact  that  women  really  do  forget.  A  man  will  deliberately 
revive  the  remembrance  of  past  sins  for  his  present  amendment,  and 
evil  being  turned  into  good,  the  sin  is  forgiven.  A  woman  forgets 
an  act  of  meanness  because  it  made  no  impression  upon  her  mind 
when  she  committed  it.  She  does  not  understand  the  nature  of  it. 
She  forgives  an  act  of  meanness  which  a  woman  commits  against  her 
because  they  understand  each  other  so  well. 


ANDREW    MACPHAIL 

To  arrive  at  an  apprehension  of  this  condition  of  non-morality, 
we  must  go  back  to  the  beginning  of  created  beings,  when  the  prob- 
lems of  physiology  were  reduced  to  their  simplest  forms,  and  the 
problems  of  psychology  and  ethics  had  not  yet  made  their  appearance ; 
when  the  presence  of  life  was  revealed  only  by  the  appearance  of 
movement.  As  we  see  the  living  being  in  its  lowest  form,  it  merely 
moves,  eats,  grows,  reproduces  itself,  and  dies.  It  is  contractile, 
irritable,  receptive,  assimilative,  metabolic,  secretory,  respiratory, 
and  reproductive,  as  the  books  on  science  say.  This  seems  a  great 
deal,  but  in  reality  it  is  very  little,  for  it  does  not  differentiate  an 
amoeba  from  a  man. 

The  evolution  of  the  animal  kingdom  began  with  the  acquirement 
of  the  first  rudiments  of  a  morality.  The  original  amoeba  was  content 
to  wait  until  its  food  arrived  in  a  faint  swirl  of  water.  We  can  well 
imagine  that,  by  some  circumstance  which  was  apparently  fortuitous 
but  in  reality  due  to  the  operation  of  the  law  of  gravity  and  of  those 
principles  which  underlie  the  distribution  of  air,  the  food  was  brought 
in  unusual  quantity  or  at  an  unnecessary  moment.  The  creature, 
being  already  surfeited,  was  quite  willing,  that  the  nutriment  should 
go  to  a  rival.  The  satisfaction  which  was  experienced  as  a  result  of 
comfortable  physical  distention  was  attributed  to  an  act  of  self- 
abnegation,  and  so  the  foundation  of  morality  was  laid. 

This  illustration  may  be  made  more  obvious,  and  perhaps  less 
absurd,  if  we  consider  the  situation  of  the  savage  reclining  before*  the 
fire  with  his  family  in  the  sanctity  of  his  cave  after  a  successful  day's 
chase,  and  a  surfeit  upon  the  rude  but  efficient  cookery  of  those  days. 
We  shall  not  be  wrong  if  we  surmise  that  an  emotion  of  gratitude 
might  arise  in  his  breast  towards  the  giver  of  so  much  good  and  of 
commiseration  of  a  less  fortunate  neighbor.  This  laudable  sentiment 
might  induce  him  to  share  the  food  which  was  yet  uneaten,  especially 
if  —  not  to  credit  him  with  too  high  and  disinterested  a  morality  — 
he  recalled  that  on  previous  occasions  his  surplus  store  had  perished 
by  decay.  Certainly  he  would  not  feel  disposed  to  interfere  with  his 
neighbor's  chase,  and  so  the  principles  of  justice  would  be  established. 
It  is  not  improbable  that  his  neighbor  at  some  future  time  would  do 
as  he  had  been  done  by,  and  accordingly  the  growth  of  morality  and 
the  bonds  of  amity  would  be  strengthened.  In  due  course  game  laws 
would  make  their  appearance,  and  out  of  that  would  arise  a  system 
of  jurisprudence  to  cover  the  various  problems  which  must  have 
faced  a  growing,  though  simple,  civilization. 

If  now  it  be  true  that  morality  had  its  origin  in  the  mental  and 


ANDREW    MACPHAIL  95146 

physical  activities  attendant  upon  the  procuring  of  food,  and  since 
these  activities  were  exercised  chiefly  by  the  male,  it  follows  that  the 
female  who  was  not  brought  under  the  influence  of  a  favorable  environ- 
ment would  remain  non-moral.  She  did  not  come  in  contact  with  the 
world,  as  the  saying  is,  and  continued  unlearned,  wanting  the  hard 
lesson  of  experience.  Something  of  a  similar  nature  is  still  witnessed 
in  the  case  of  those  clerics  who  deal  habitually  with  women,  of  school- 
masters and  professors  whose  world  is  merely  that  which  is  encountered 
within  the  walls  of  a  class-room,  and  of  writers  whose  observation 
does  not  extend  beyond  their  closets.  The  characteristics  of  the 
feminine  nature  are  found  in  them.  They  are  considered  virtuous 
because  the  problems  of  morality  have  never  presented  themselves. 

Shut  out  from  the  world,  the  primitive  woman  was  not  free  to 
develop  an  independent  life.  She  adapted  herself  to  the  man.  His 
views  were  her  views ;  his  dislikes  were  shared  by  her,  and  she  adopted 
his  opinions  ready-made.  She  preferred  to  be  dependent,  and  agreed 
that  the  man  should  continue  to  mold  her  mentality.  This"  destruc- 
tion of  her  personality  and  departure  from  her  line  of  life  became  so 
permanent  that  she  enjoyed  it.  Her  sense  of  personal  value  was  lost. 
It  was  found  in  external  things,  her  beauty,  her  adornment,  her 
children,  or  her  husband.  This  lightness  of  regard  for  their  own 
personality  still  persists,  as  we  may  see  in  the  readiness  with  which  a 
woman  exchanges  her  own  name  for  another,  not  once,  but  under 
certain  circumstances  —  after  a  period  of  half -luxurious  sorrow  and 
self-conscious  demureness  —  twice,  or  yet  again,  and  each  time  with 
the  greater  alacrity.  Without  freedom  there  can  be  no  free  will, 
and  without  free  will  there  can  be  no  character. 

The  primitive  man  in  the  contest  with  his  environment  developed 
an  ethic,  a  logic,  and  a  morality,  because  he  was  free.  Deprived  of 
freedom,  the  primitive  woman  remained  servile  in  disposition;  tyran- 
nical when  occasion  offered,  because  the  servant  ever  makes  the  worst 
master;  unjust,  since  she  was  protected  against  the  penalty  of  injustice; 
unsympathetic  and  heartless,  because  there  was  no  occasion  for  a 
wide  and  disinterested  charity;  mindless, because  there  was  another 
to  think  for  her.  Trained  to  accept  the  conventions  which  the  man 
imposed  upon  her,  she  easily  submitted  to  the  conventions  devised 
by  her  own  sex,  and  became  imitative  even  in  the  clothes  which  she 
wore,  in  the  method  of  adornment  which  she  adopted,  in  the  sentiments 
which  she  entertained,  and  in  the  opinions  which  she  expressed.  In 
time,  "however,  she  adapted  herself  to  her  environment,  and  developed 
a  kind  of  ethic,  of  her  own,  which  was  entirely  adequate  for  the  cir- 


ANDREW    MACPHAIL 

cumstances  in  which  she  was  placed,  but  breaks  down  hopelessly  in  a 
wider  sphere  of  activity. 

As  if  it  were  not  enough  that  the  woman  was  deprived  of  these 
incentives  to  the  acquisition  of  a  morality,  she  was  made  the  victim 
of  man's  unconscious  egoism  and  his  conscious  duplicity.  Men  in 
common  with  other  males  are  subject  at  times  to  a  curious  psychical 
and  physical  condition  which  is  familiarly  known  as  ((being  in  love.)) 
The  first  symptom  of  this  mental  disorder  is  an  entire  incapacity  to 
perceive  the  truth.  He  creates  an  ideal  woman,  the  woman  of  poetry 
and  other  romantical  writings.  He  attributes  to  her,  or  rather 
projects  into  the  ideal,  his  own  qualities  of  truthfulness,  modesty, 
justice,  charity,  sympathy,  fortitude,  and  beauty.  To  employ  the 
jargon  of  the  theologians,  this  ideal  woman  is  anthropomorphic. 
A  man  who  is  in  love  with  a  woman  is  really  in  love  with  himself,  but 
neither  the  one  nor  the  other  is  aware  of  the  fact.  He  begins  by 
deceiving  himself  and  ends  by  deceiving  her,  for  a  time  at  least,  and 
her  futuVe  life  consists  in  the  employment  of  every  resource  to  en- 
courage and  maintain  the  fiction.  It  is  not  the  real  woman  whom  he 
loves,  but  a  spurious  personality.  To  succeed  in  retaining  this  love, 
she  is  obliged  to  live  the  life  of  the  image  which  he  has  created,  and 
ends  by  destroying  her  inner  self.  And  yet,  under  present  conditions, 
that  woman  succeeds  best  who  is  most  successful  in  maintaining  this 
illusion  in  the  minds  of  both. 

This  practice  of  loving  and  believing  a  lie  is,  I  suspect,  the  fons  et 
origo  of  all  that  is  evil  in  our  civilization.  Few  men  and  no  women  are 
free  from  the  vice.  Even  the  intelligent  fall  into  the  easy  habit.  In 
an  important  city  the  editing  of  a  newspaper  was  entrusted  to  ten  of 
the  most  righteous  women  to  be  found  therein,  and  yet  they  assigned 
the  prize  which  had  been  offered  for  the  best  expression  of  appreciation 
of  their  labors  to  a  man  who  affirmed  that  their  literary  product 
would  overwhelm  the  city  ((with  a  deluge  of  sweetness  and  light.)) 
The  second  prize  went  to  a  woman  who  predicted  that  much  good 
would  be  effected  ((by  their  wisdom,  their  wit,  and  their  might.)) 

And  this  leads  one  to  the  observation  that  nearly  all  writing  is  an 
endeavor  to  minister  to  this  desire  for  self-deception.  Comparatively 
few  men  who  have  attained  to  the  great  age  of  forty  years  indulge  in 
the  pastime  of  reading.  Their  experience  has  taught  them  that  the 
motive  of  nearly  all  writing  is  the  desire  for  notoriety,  either  in  this 
life  or  in  the  minds  of  those  who  are  to  come.  They  are  wise  enough 
to  write  their  own  books ;  but  being  wise,  they  abstain.  They  regard 
it  as  a  delusion  that  all  who  are  capable  of  reading  are  also  capable 


ANDREW    MACPHAIL  95I4g 

of  writing.  As  well  might  a  man  believe  that  he  had  a  peculiar 
aptitude  for  herding  sheep  and  playing  the  bagpipes,  because  he  was 
born  in  the  Highlands  of  Scotland.  This  desire  of  women  to  be  de- 
ceived accounts  for  that  insincere  writing  which  is  found  in  nearly  all 
novels,  and  in  all  of  those  she-papers  which  fatten  upon  their  credulity. 
Reading,  then,  becomes  a  vapid  and  frivolous  amusement  for  dazing 
the  mind,  and  a  book  no  better  than  a  lap-dog. 

Nor  does  art  thrive  any  better  than  literature  in  this  atmosphere 
of  feminism.  Art  has  to  do  with  the  beauty  of  utility,  of  truth.  A 
woman  learns  by  instinct,  possibly  by  experience,  that  personal 
beauty  does  not  imply  morality,  and  as  it  is  with  her  own  personality 
she  is  most  concerned,  a  secret  distrust  in  all  beauty,  even  the  beauty 
of  art,  is  instilled  into  her  mind.  Accordingly  the  pictures  which  are 
painted  to  please  her  must  have  a  superficial  prettiness,  and  the 
houses  which  are  erected  for  her  use  will  best  serve  her  purpose  if, 
instead  of  simplicity,  they  display  a  decorated  cosiness  and  'have 
sufficient  cupboards  for  the  accommodation  of  her  cast-off  finery. 

The  superfluous  top-hamper  of  civilisation,  which  makes  living 
difficult  for  the  rich  and  impossible  for  the  poor,  continues  to  burden 
humanity  because  women  will  have  it  so.  A  world  of  iniquity  is 
created  out  of  their  desire  for  change.  It  is  not  love  of  beauty  which 
suddenly  reveals  to  a  woman  that  last  year's  adornment  is  hideous, 
but  the  desire  to  change  one  form  of  ugliness  for  another.  If  she 
possessed  that  sense  of  beauty  which  comes  from  sincerity,  and  that 
in  turn  from  freedom,  she  would  once  and  for  all  agree  upon  some 
practice  of  adornment  combined  with  utility,  which  would  have  a 
reasonable  degree  of  permanency,  rather  than  submit  to  the  tyranny 
of  an  organized  band  of  mercenaries,  who  exist  for  the  purpose  of 
exploiting  her  femininity.  This  passion  in  women  for  splendid 
apparel  arises  from  their  suspicion  that  they  are  not  in  reality  beautiful, 
but  have  only  been  told  so  by  men  whose  senses  they  suspect  are 
dulled  by  passion. 

The  value  of  the  exercise  of  the  suffrage  by  a  woman  is  that  it  will 
serve  to  emancipate  her  from  herself  in  so  far  as  it  emancipates  her 
from  men.  In  the  present  state  of  affairs,  which  is  based  on  the  Orien- 
tal conception  that  a  woman  is  a  chattel,  a  private  possession,  born  to 
serve  and  be  dependent  upon  man,  she  has  no  complete  existence  in 
herself.  She  obtains  the  sense  of  full  existence  only  through  her 
husband  and  children,  just  as  the  Mussulman  woman  attains  to  the 
chief  desire  of  her  heart  if  she  is  chosen  to  give  a  son  to  the  Pattisah. 
She  stands  ready  to  be  made  wife  or  mother,  that  she  may  acquire 


9514k  ANDREW    MACPHAIL 

that  gift;  and  her  love  is  the  mental  sense  of  satisfaction  that  she  is 
about  to  be  redeemed. 

Looked  at  narrowly,  this  attempt  on  the  part  of  women  to  emanci- 
pate themselves  would  appear  to  be  nothing  more  than  the  expression 
of  a  desire  to  enlarge  the  range  of  their  caprice,  for  which  not  even 
marriage,  the  old  and  sovereign  remedy,  is  any  longer  efficacious.  In 
reality  the  reason  lies  much  deeper.  It  is  a  blind  striving  for  the  pure 
air  of  freedom,  for  escape  from  a  bondage  in  which  only  the  qualities 
of  the  servile  have  had  room  for  development.  Until  women  cease 
to  believe  the  pretty  lies  which  men  tell  them,  that  they  are  only  a 
little  lower  than  the  angels,  and  discover  the  real  bondage,  their  own 
nature,  from  which  they  must  emancipate  themselves,  they  will  not 
proceed  with  any  degree  of  seriousness.  They  will  not  convince  the 
world  until  they  themselves  are  convinced.  Analysis  they  consider 
detraction,  and  fly  from  investigation  in  wild  alarm.  Upon  this 
subject  there  is  a  considerable  body  of  information  in  the  writings  of 
satirists,  dramatists,  and  theologians,  ancient  and  modern;  but  it  is 
decried  as  slander,  whether  uttered  by  St.  Paul,  Origen,  Clement  of 
Alexandria,  or  Otto  Weininger. 

This  violent  effort  to  attain  to  freedom  is  bound  to  be  associated 
with  a  form  of  disorderliness  which  the  common  mind  describes  as 
hysterical.  All  disorder  in  itself  is  bad.  It  is  intolerable  only  when  it 
is  meaningless.  It  is  decried  because  it  is  misunderstood.  Any  con- 
sideration of  the  mind  of  the  suffragette  would  be  quite  inadequate 
without  some  mention  of  those  complex  manifestations  which  are 
known  as  hysteria.  Of  this  too  I  shall  offer  an  explanation  in  support 
of  my  argument.  It  is  a  sign  of  the  striving  after  a  higher  morality, 
of  an  attempt  to  ((convert  nothing  into  something,))  to  put  on  a  new 
nature,  to  acquire  personality,  distinction,  character,  and  mind.  Up 
to  a  certain  point  the  woman  accepts  her  femininity  and  all  that  is 
implied  thereby  with  unquestioning  obedience,  taking  it  at  its  mascu- 
line value.  In  the  absence  of  an  external  controlling  influence  there 
comes  a  divine  discontent  with  that  negative  condition  of  existence, 
and  she  becomes  imbued  with  moral  ideas  which  are  foreign  to  her 
normal  mind  and  opposed  to  her  real  nature.  In  reality  she  puts  on  a 
superficial,  sham  self,  and  yet  is  incapable  of  perceiving  the  spurious- 
ness  of  it.  This  new  personality  shows  itself  in  self-confidence, 
independence,  assertiveness,  a  punctilious  sincerity,  and  painful 
candor  in  speech  and  action.  This  artificial  imitation  of  the  masculine 
morality  with  which  she  has  overlaid  her  femininity,  at  the  touch  of 
some  rough  reality  flies  in  pieces,  and  the  conflict  between  her  real 


ANDREW    MACPHAIL  95141 

nature  and  this  unnatural  self  produces  those  phenomena  which  are 
known  as  hysteria.  It  is  a  contest  between  what  she  knows  to  be 
true  and  what  she  suspects  is  false. 

A  woman  in  this  condition  is  a  piteous  and  degrading  spectacle, 
exposing  her  femininity  naked  yet  unashamed,  and  revealing  the 
whole  record  of  development  in  its  continuous  progress  through  those 
stages  which  we  designate  as  plant,  beast,  and  savage  life.  To  the 
psychologist  the  phenomenon  is  full  of  interest  and  fruitful  of  instruc- 
tion, but  it  recalls  the  fearful  image  conjured  up  by  the  words : 

((And  Satan  yawning  on  his  brazen  seat, 
Toys  with  the  screaming  thing  his  fiends  have  flayed.)) 

This  demand  for  the  suffrage  is  in  reality  an  attempt  to  arrive  at  a 
higher  morality,  to  attain  to  consideration  in  virtue  of  goodness  and 
not  of  charm.  The  real  opponents  are  the  women  who  master  men 
by  that  easy  device,  and  all  men  who  find  it  so  comfortable  to  succumb, 
because  they  find  it  so  alluring.  There  is  an  active  and  a  passive 
conspiracy  working  to  the  same  end  that  women  shall  not  be  free. 
There  is  no  creature  in  the  world  who  is  so  irritating  to  the  woman  who 
is  merely  good  as  the  woman  who  is  merely  charming,  and  therefore 
in  a  condition  of  negative  morality.  The  most  efficient  means  to 
destroy  the  force  of  any  charm  is  to  investigate  its  origin,  a  task  to 
which  those  who  are  striving  for  emancipation  would  do  well  to  apply 
themselves.  It  is  not  enough  that  they  have  relinquished  this  quality 
in  themselves.  They  can  succeed  only  when  they  have  removed  its 
possession  from  others. 

The  struggle  for  freedom  from  their  own  nature  will  not  be  easy. 
The  habits  acquired  during  countless  ages  are  all  but  ineradicable; 
yet  progress  may  appear  in  the  exchange  of  one  bondage  for  another. 
One  would  say  that  the  noble  army  of  martyrs  who  have  attacked  the 
inner  sanctuary  of  the  British  Constitution  had  emancipated  them- 
selves from  every  restraint  and  destroyed  the  last  attraction  between 
themselves  and  living  men;  and  yet  their  next  act  was  to  bind  them- 
selves with  physical  chains  to  those  stone  images  of  male  humanity 
which  stand  in  the  Hall  of  St.  Stephen.  This  thing  is  an  allegory. 

I  am  not  blind  to  certain  perils  which  lie  in  the  way;  but  I  think 
they  have  been  exaggerated  and  will  tend  to  cure  themselves.  Voting 
implies  being  voted  for,  and  men  are  so  fatuous  that  they  will  vote  for 
the  woman  who  has  a  pleasing  personality  and  skill  in  the  adornment 
of  her  person,  rather  than  for  a  candidate  of  commanding  intellect 


9514]  ANDREW    MACPHAIL 

and  skill  in  the  public  use  of  her  tongue.  Then  will  arise  another 
noble  band  of  martyrs  after  the  discovery  of  how  little  men's  votes  for 
women  are  influenced  by  reason  and  how  much  by  charm.  They 
will  declare  that  man  shall  no  longer  have  the  opportunity  of  being 
silly,  and  they  will  banish  their  charming  sisters  from  public  life. 

There  is  nothing  which  a  man  who  is  left  to  himself  desires  so 
ardently  as  he  desires  the  feminine.  To  attain  to  it  he  will  commit 
the  last  infamy,  descending  to  the  level  of  the  beast  from  which  he  has 
arisen,  even  whilst  he  despises  himself  for  the  surrender  of  that  morality 
which  he  has  so  laboriously  acquired.  This  interdependence  of  good 
and  evil  constitutes  the  riddle  of  the  universe ;  and  yet  it  is  out  of  this 
conflict  between  the  lower  and  the  higher  that  our  civilization,  as  we 
know  it,  has  arisen.  The  woman  exercises  her  power  by  means  of  a 
charm,  by  which  she  allures  and  then  captivates.  The  ((fountain)) 
of  this  charm  is  love,  and  its  essence  ((pleasant  to  the  eyes))  like  that 
fruit  which  first  attracted  the  Universal  Dame  herself. 

If  the  power  of  this  charm  were  unchecked,  it  would  reabsorb  the 
masculine  idea  into  the  feminine,  so  earnestly  is  it  desired  by  men. 
It  is  the  business  of  women  to  see  to  it  that  this  charm  is  exercised 
with  due  restraint.  Every  child  knows  that  a  charm  is  broken  by 
speech,  and  if  the  injunction  taceat  mulier  were  observed,  the  masculine 
would  be  delivered  into  an  eternal  bondage.  If  all  women  at  all  times 
behaved  themselves  in  accordance  with  the  principles  of  the  eternal 
feminine,  which  are  those  of  appearance  and  beauty,  men  would 
become  so  enamored  of  it  that  they  would  mold  their  lives  by  it  and 
eventually  transform  themselves  into  women. 

Compare  the  power  of  the  woman  who  sits,  and  looks,  and  exercises 
her  charm  in  silence  and  mystery  with  her  who  says  an  inane  thing 
three  times  over  with  the  intention  of  being  interesting  and  vivacious, 
or  a  foolish  thing  rather  than  remain  silent;  with  her  who  votes  and 
speaks  in  the  councils,  even  though  she  speak  with  the  tongue  of  a 
man  and  reveal  all  knowledge;  with  her  who  brawls  in  public  places, 
and  even  gives  her  body  to  the  Holloway  gaol,  and  we  shall  discover 
the  essential  reason  why  women  should  be  encouraged  to  do  these 
things,  namely,  that  they  shall  be  induced  to  tell  the  truth  about 
themselves  and  so  liberate  men  in  some  degree  from  the  power  of  their 
charm,  that  reason  may  govern  life. 

The  women  who  are  not  satisfied  with  the  status  of  wife  and 
mother  and  are  striving  to  educate  themselves  into  fitting  ((com- 
panions)) for  their  husbands  and  sons  by  attending  lectures  and 
reading  magazines  are  unaware  of  the  power  of  this  charm,  and  are 


ANDREW    MACPHAIL  9514k 

suffering  from  an  exaggerated  notion  of  the  kind  of  companionship 
for  which  men  are  capable.  They  magnify  the  masculine  intelligence 
unduly.  What  a  piece  of  work  is  a  man!  they  exclaim  in  rhapsody, 
how  noble  in  reason,  how  infinite  in  faculty,  in  form  and  moving  how 
express  and  admirable,  in  action  how  like  an  angel,  in  apprehension 
how  like  a  god,  the  beauty  of  the  world !  In  reality  this  ((paragon  of 
animals))  desires  a  woman  more  ardently  than  he  desires  a  talking 
book,  agreeing,  if  he  is  sensible,  with  that  eminent  divine,  John  Calvin, 
when  he  declared,  ((The  only  beauty  that  can  please  my  heart  is  one 
that  is  gentle,  chaste,  modest,  economical,  patient,  and,  finally,  careful 
of  her  husband's  health.)) 

The  real  grievance  from  which  women  suffer  is  that  their  authority 
and  claim  to  consideration  is  based  upon  a  principle  which  is  non- 
ethical  and  of  no  inherent  value  in  their  eyes.  Their  way  of  escape 
lies  in  convincing  men  that  they  also  should  arrive  at  a  like  estimate  of 
its  fallibility.  This  can  best  be  done  by  setting  up  truth  in  opposition 
to  falsehood,  which  is  the  most  subtle  method  of  iconoclasm,  the  most 
powerful  for  breaking  down  an  eidolon  in  which  the  affections  are 
inordinately  fixed,  since  the  deity  and  the  devotee  can  then  make 
mutual  inferences.  To  keep  the  matter  scientific  and  impersonal, 
they  might  begin  by  an  investigation  into  the  nature  of  the  trog- 
lodytic  woman,  disclosing  her  characteristics,  assigning  them  to 
their  proper  cause,  and  estimating  what  proportion  still  remains. 
The  opinion  requires  corroboration  that  women  have  been  more 
successful  than  men  in  purging  away  those  qualities  which  were  in- 
herent in  the  primitive  nature.  Indeed  to  the  most  careful  observer 
there  is  some  evidence  that  jealousy  has  not  entirely  given  way  to 
justice,  heartlessness  to  charity,  pride  to  dignity,  shamelessness  to 
modesty,  selfishness  to  sympathy,  and  the  desire  of  provoking  com- 
passion to  a  self-reliant  fortitude. 

This  investigation  might  properly  be  undertaken  by  the  various 
Councils  of  Women,  even  at  the  risk  of  excluding  those  subjects  upon 
which  they  possess  no  especial  information,  such  as  the  effect  of 
narcotics  and  intoxicants  upon  the  masculine  frame.  A  frank  pro- 
nouncement from  this  high  quarter  would  be  free  from  the  taunt  that 
it  was  merely  slander,  diatribe,  or  vituperation.  To  make  the  inquiry 
sufficiently  extensive,  it  might  be  well  to  appoint  a  committee  of  men 
to  prepare  an  agendum  for  the  meeting,  a  labor  in  which  I  would 
willingly  bear  a  part,  having  a  desire  for  specific  information  upon 
certain  points,  namely:  why  up  to  a  certain  age  a  younger  sister 
dislikes  the  elder,  and  between  certain  ages  a  mother  is  averse  to  her 


95141-  ANDREW    MACPHAIL 

daughter;  why  the  law  of  modesty  in  apparel  is  not  constant  at  nine 
o'clock  in  the  evening  and  nine  o'clock  in  the  morning;  why  it  is 
painful  for  a  woman  to  witness  another  advancing  in  social  status; 
why  female  beauty  and  an  adornment  which  heightens  it  does  not 
excite  an  emotion  of  universal  pleasure;  why  women  make  good 
nurses,  if  it  is  not  because  they  are  lacking  in  sympathy. 

For  women,  then,  there  are  two  lines  of  conduct  open,  and  only 
two.  Either  they  must  remain  within  the  cave,  as  ((sisters  to  the 
flowers,))  in  an  environment  suitable  for  the  development  of  such 
qualities  as  may  be  developed  from  the  essentially  feminine  nature,  an 
easy  docility,  a  pleasurable  obedience,  meekness,  forbearance,  long- 
suffering,  patience,  silence;  as  objects  upon  which  men  may  lavish 
protection,  kindness,  benevolence,  affection,  and  so  stimulate  their 
own  masculine  morality,  and  redeem  themselves  in  virtue  of  the  love 
which  is  created  thereby:  or  they  must  aspire  to  a  perfect  freedom; 
casting  aside  the  curb  of  sex  and  freeing  themselves  from  the  tyranny 
of  kith  and  kin,  they  must  come  out  into  the  world  and  remain  out  in 
the  full  glare  of  the  sun,  ruthlessly  exposing  their  nature  to  the  rough 
environment  whereby  its  imperfections  will  be  scourged  and  chastened 
away.  Possibly  that  nature  might  perish  in  the  process  before  a  new 
one  was  created,  and  in  any  event  it  might  be  nothing  more  than  a 
close  approximation  to  the  male. 

There  is  no  middle  station,  half  in  and  half  out,  exposing  the  evil 
and  doing  nothing  for  its  amendment.  This  tentative  standing- 
ground  merely  permits  of  a  sudden  release  of  the  nature  of  the 
primitive  woman  in  all  its  nakedness  unchecked  from  within  and 
uncontrolled  from  without.  The  spectacle  is  so  revolting,  I  fear,  that 
most  women  would  turn  back  with  grief  and  hatred  of  it  to  their  old 
rule,  rather  than  strive  with  a  full  purpose  and  endeavor  after  a  new 
obedience.  That  is  the  essential  difficulty  with  which  those  women 
have  to  contend,  who  would  lead  their  sisters  out  of  bondage.  Their 
real  enemies  are  of  their  own  household,  who  hate  to  see  this  revelation 
that  women  make  of  themselves,  which  affords  to  vulgar  satirists 
congenial  exercise  of  their  irony  and  scoff,  for  the  torment  or  amuse- 
ment of  those  who,  like  themselves,  by  continually  regarding  humanity 
as  it  is,  have  developed  a  capacity  for  analysis  at  the  expense  of  a 
certain  dryness  and  hardness  of  heart. 

These  satirists  smile  and  whisper  in  our  ear  that  the  emancipation 
of  women  is  intended  only  to  enlarge  the  bounds  of  their  caprice; 
that  their  performance  is  of  no  immediate  interest  to  the  man,  and 
only  of  very  remote  benefit  to  the  woman;  that,  when  he  grows  tired 


ANDREW    MACPHAIL  9514 in 

of  the  farce,  he  will  cast  her  out  of  the  cave  and  leave  her  to  her  own 
device  as  he  was  left  in  the  day  of  his  creation.  From  this  they  con- 
clude that  a  race  which  allows  itself  to  be  brought  to  such  an  impasse 
is  not  worth  reproducing,  and  we  cannot  blame  them  too  severely. 
It  is  on  account  of  their  perception  of  this  fact  that  the  women  of 
primitive  communities  deal  faithfully  with  their  unruly  sisters  lest  a 
worse  thing  befall  themselves.  There  is  a  choice  between  the  good  and 
the  best  as  there  is  between  the  evil  and  the  good;  and  women  must 
find  in  freedom  compensation  for  having  cast  out  the  imputed  sacred- 
ness  from  their  lives;  and,  in  watching  the  gyrations  of  their  souls, 
some  recompense  for  that  calm  leisure  in  which  they  were  wont  to 
dream. 

This  then  is  the  end  of  the  argument  in  favor  of  the  suffragette, 
which  is  developed  out  of  her  own  psychology.  Women  have  ob- 
tained their  places  in  the'  world  because  they  are  desired  by  men  on 
grounds  which  are  not  of  the  highest  ethical  quality;  but  these  are  the 
only  grounds  upon  which  men  will  consent  to  endure  the  burden  of 
carrying  on  a  society,  about  whose  invention  they  were  not  consulted. 
We  are  now  —  men  and  women,  not  as  opponents  but  as  companions 
in  a  misery  which  we  should  do  our  best  to  assuage  by  mutual  help  — - 
face  to  face  with  the  real  problem:  Shall  we  allow  the  evil  to  endure, 
or  even  suffer  the  good  to  remain  as  the  enemy  of  the  best,  saying 
with  the  sluggard,  a  little  more  sleep,  a  little  more  slumber;  or  shall  we 
strive  after  the  higher  morality,  even  losing  our  life  that  we  may  save 
it? 

It  is  no  bar  to  the  argument  that  it  faces  the  extinction  of  the 
species  to  which  we  belong.  In  a  question  of  morality  consequences 
do  not  count.  We  did  not  create  ourselves.  The  responsibility  of 
ceasing  to  exist  does  not  rest  upon  us.  It  is  in  reality  a  question  of 
conduct,  and  upon  that  we  can  always  get  information  if  we  inquire 
of  Him  whose  genius  for  right  living  was  such  that  a  large  proportion 
of  mankind  have  agreed  upon  Him  as  the  chief  exemplar  and  pat- 
tern of  pure  right eousness.  The  problem  presented  itself  to  Him.  He 
answered  it  in  specific  terms.  Three  times  and  in  separate  places  are 
the  question  and  answer  recorded  in  words  which  are  almost  identical : 
What  good  thing  shall  I  do  that  I  may  inherit  eternal  life;  what  lack  I 
yet?  What  shall  I  do  that  I  may  inherit  eternal  life?  What  shall  I 
do  to  inherit  eternal  life?  To  convince  us  that  the  answer  is  not  pne 
of  special  application,  the  question  is  repeated  thrice  in  general  terms 
and  so  recorded:  Who  then  can  be  saved?  Who  then  can  be  saved? 
Who  then  can  be  saved?  The  answer  invariably  is  that  those  who  t 


95I4H  ANDREW    MACPHAIL 

would  inherit  everlasting  life  must  first  forsake  certain  things  which 
are  specifically  set  forth,  and  the  enumeration  ends  in  all  cases  with 
((woman.))  One  is  quite  prepared  to  be  told  that  Paul  was  ill-informed 
or  ill-natured,  when  he  declared  that  even  the  intimacy  with  a  woman 
which  is  implied  by  marriage  is  a  drag  in  the  attempt  after  a  higher 
life,  and  yet  protest,  in  face  of  that  exegetic  feat  which  attributes  the 
insertion  of  the  fatal  word  to  a  monkish  hand,  that  Jesus  really  meant 
something  when  He  said  that  she  must  be  forsaken. 

All  things  are  working  toward  this  divine  end  by  making  it  easy 
to  forsake  the  woman.  As  that  kind  of  intelligence  is  developed  by 
higher  education,  as  it  is  called  with  a  certain  degree  of  assumption, 
which  consists  in  an  increased  capacity  for  the  recollection  of  unrelated 
statements,  a  measure  of  value  is  created  which  men  can  understand. 
The}7"  are  dealing  in  their  own  currency.  Pedantry  they  have  already 
witnessed,  and  the  instructed  woman  is  even  less  adorable  than  a 
professor.  An  imitation  of  the  garb  which  is  customary  in  the  male 
at  once  suggests  the  form  which  it  is  intended  to  conceal  and  a  com- 
parison with  the  standards  of  abstract  beauty.  When  women  place 
themselves  in  situations  for  which  they,  are  not  qualified  by  their 
nature  to  fill  with  obvious  advantage  they  become  a  ridiculous  carica- 
ture of  themselves.  The  mind  of  the  suffragette  appears  to  possess  a 
peculiar  aptitude  for  that  absurdity  which  makes  a  man  impatient  and 
finally  contemptuous  of  all  femininity,  and  resolute  to  adhere  to  his 
own  ideal.  A  woman  may  be  foolish  and  yet  be  charming.  She 
emancipates  herself  when  she  becomes  an  object  of  aversion. 


95^5 


EMERICH   MADACH 

(1823-1864) 

BY  GEORGE  ALEXANDER  KOHUT 

[UNGARY  is  a  favorite  land  of  the  Muses.  Romance,  ardent 
sentiment,  and  a  certain  mystic  fervor  give  to  her  poetry  an 
exquisite  charm.  A  thrill  of  fire  and  passion  vibrates  in  her 
songs  and  melodies.  Her  folk-lore  and  ancient  traditions  teem  with 
rich  Oriental  imagery  and  beautiful  conceptions.  These  ancient  gems 
have  in  the  present  century  received  a  fresh  setting  at  the  hands  of 
the  literary  artists,  who  have  borne  witness 
to  the  unabated  vigor  of  this  people  <(  barbar- 
ously grand. »  Of  the  modern  school,  Petofi 
the  lyric  poet  and  Madach  the  dramatic  are 
the  most  popular  poets  of  Hungary. 

Madach  Imre  (for  the  family  name  comes 
first  in  Hungarian)  was  born  in  Also  Sztre- 
gova,  Hungary,  January  2ist,  1823;  and  died 
in  his  native  town  October  5th,  1864.  Of 
his  life  little  need  be  told.  He  was  notary, 
orator,  and  journalist;  at  an  early  age  he 
wrote  a  number  of  essays  on  natural  science, 
archaeology,  and  aesthetics.  He  wrote  lyric 
as  well  as  dramatic  poetry;  .but  it  is  chiefly 
through  his  two  dramatic  poems,  < Moses > 

and  <The  Tragedy  of  Man,>  written  almost  simultaneously  in  1860, 
that  he  is  best  known.  An  edition  of  his  collected  writings,  in  three 
volumes,  was  issued  by  Paul  Gyulai  in  Budapest,  1880.  His  master- 
piece, <The  Tragedy  of  Man,>  has  been  rendered  into  German  no  less 
than  five  times;  the  latest  version,  by  Julius  Lechner  von  der  Lech 
(Leipzig,  1888,  with  a  preface  by  Maurice  Jokai),  being  the  most  feli- 
citous. Alexander  Fischer  gave  a  splendid  re'sumt  of  this  powerful 
drama  in  Sacher-Masoch's  periodical,  Auf  der  Hohe  (Vol.  xvi.,  1885), 
—  the  only  analysis  of  it  in  any  language  except  Hungarian.  Though 
it  is  too  philosophical  and  contemplative  in  character,  and  not  in- 
tended for  the  stage,  its  first  production,  which  took  place  in  Septem- 
ber 1883,  created  an  immense  sensation  both  in  Austria  and  Hungary. 
To  English  readers,  Madach  is  a  total  stranger.  His  name  is 
scarcely  ever  found  in  -any  encyclopaedia  or  biographical  dictionary; 


EMERICH  MADACH 


95 1<>  EMERICH   MADACH 

and  strangely  enough,  no  attempt  has  been  thus  far  made  to  give 
even  a  selection  from  this  latter-day  Milton  of  Hungary. 

It  is  not  here  intended  to  explain  the  origin  and  inner  development 
of  this  fascinating  jlrama,  nor  to  draw  elaborate  parallels  between 
its  author  and  his  predecessors  in  other  lands.  Such  a  comparative 
critical  study  would  be  interesting  as  showing  the  spiritual  kinship 
between  master  minds,  centuries  distant  from  one  another,  whose 
sympathies  are  in  direct  touch  with  our  own  ideals  and  life  problems. 

Madach  will  plead  his  own  cause  effectively  enough.  To  him,  how- 
ever, who  in  reading  the  ( Tragedy  of  Man *  involuntarily  makes  such 
comparisons,  and  might  be  led  unjustly  to  question  the  author's  ori- 
ginality, the  graceful  adage  Grosse  Geister  treffen  sick  (Great  minds 
meetj  will  serve  as  an  answer.  He  should  rather  say,  with  true 
artistic  estimate,  that  the  shading  in  the  one  landscape  of  a  higher 
life  helps  to  set  off  the  vivid  and  brilliant  coloring  in  the  other;  so 
that  the  whole,  viewed  side  by  side,  presents  a  series  of  wondrous 
harmonies.  Madach  imbibed,  no  doubt,  from  foreign  sources.  He 
was  familiar  with  c Paradise  Lost,*  and  with  the  now  obsolete  but 
once  much-lauded  epic,  <  La  Semaine  >  (The  Week),  of  Milton's  French 
predecessor  Du  Bartas;  Alfieri's  tramelogedia,  'Abele,*  and  Gesner's 
<  Death  of  Abel,*  as  well  as  Byron's  ( Mystery  of  Cain,*  may  also  have 
come  to  his  notice ;  Goethe's  ( Faust  *  appears  more  than  once,  and  may 
be  recognized  in  any  incognito.  Yet  we  cannot  say  with  certainty 
that  any  one  of  these  masterpieces  influenced  his  own  work,  any  more 
than  Milton  inspired  the  great  German  bard.  We  might  as  justly 
tax  him  with  drawing  upon  Hebrew  tradition  for  the  entire  plot  of 
his  drama,  beginning  with  the  fourth  scene;  for  strangely  enough, 
Adam's  expe'riences  with  his  mentor  and  Nemesis,  Lucifer,  are  fore- 
shadowed in  the  very  same  manner  in  a  quaint  legend  of  the  Jewish 
Rabbis,  told  nearly  twenty  centuries  ago.  The  comparative  study 
of  literature  will  reveal  other  facts  equally  amazing.  It  is  of  course 
self-evident  that  the  morbid  pessimism  which  rings  its  vague  alarms 
throughout  the  book  is  that  of  Ecclesiastes,  whose  vanitas  vanitatum 
is  the  key  to  his  doleful  plaint. 

ttl  applied  my  heart  to  seek  and  to  search  out  by  wisdom  concerning  all 
that  is  done  under  heaven:  it  is  a  sore  travail  that  God  hath  given  to  the 
sons  of  men  to  be  exercised  therewith.  I  have  seen  all  the  works  that  are 
done  under  the  sun ;  and  behold,  all  is  vanity  and  a  striving  after  wind.  .  .  . 
And  I  applied  my  heart  to  know  wisdom,  and  to  know  madness  and  folly;  I 
perceived  that  this  also  was  a  striving  after  wind.  For  in  much  wisdom  is 
much  grief;  and  he  that  increaseth  knowledge  increaseth  sorrow. w  (Eccl.  i. 
12-18.) 

This  is  the  leading  theme,  and  Lessing's  soulful  simile  of  the 
ideal,  the  grand  morale:  —  (<If  God  held  trutn^in  his  right  hand,"  says 
he,  <(  and  in  his  left  the  mere  striving  after  truth,  bidding  me  choose 


EMERICH   MADACH 

between  the  two,  I  would  reverently  bow  to  his  left  and  say,  (Give 
but  the  impulse ;  truth  is  for  thee  alone ! )  }> 

Thus,  after  traversing  many  lands  the  world  over;  after  plunging 
Into  every  pleasure  and  being  steeped  in  every  vice;  after  passions 
human  and  divine  have  had  their  sway  over  his  spirit,  —  Adam  con- 
cedes to  Lucifer  that  the  world  of  ideals  is  illusory,  existing  only  in 
fancy,  thriving  but  in  our  own  souls,  nourished  by  sentiment,  and 
supersensitive  to  the  touch  of  grosser  things.  And  yet  the  echo 
which  answers  his  sad  pleadings,  as  he  cries  out  disheartened  — 

<(  O  sacred  poetry,  hast  thou  then 
Quite  forsaken  this  prosy  world  of  our»? }> 

is  a  wholly  unexpected  one  in  the  grand  finale.  It  teaches  the 
doctrine  of  eternal  hope,  as  the  great  Hebrew  pessimist  Koheleth 
summed  it  up,  when  only  the  Hellenic  intellect  reigned  supreme  and 
the  Hellenic  heart  was  cold:  — 

(<  I  have  decreed,  O  man  —  strive  ye  and  trust  P* 

The  ideal  conquers  in  the  end,  should  life  and  love  not  fail.  Poetry 
and  sentiment  transform  even  this  valley  of  the  shadow  of  death  into 
a  Paradise  regained.  It  is  a  song  of  the  ideals  in  which  salvation 
lies;  and  the  words  of  the  Lord  with  which  the  poem  closes  are, 
(<  Struggle  and  trust. }> 


FROM    THE   <  TRAGEDY   OF  MAN> 
SEVENTH  SCENE 

Scene:  An  open  square  in  Constantinople.  A  few  citizens  lounging  about. 
In  the  centre  the  palace  of  the  Patriarch;  to  the  right  a  cloister;  to  the 
left  a  grove.  Adam  as  Tancred,  in  the  prime  of  life,  is  seen  advan- 
cing at  the  head  of  returning  Crusaders,  accompanied  by  other  knights,  • 
with  colors  flying  and  drums  beating;  Lucifer  as  his  armor-bearer. 
Evening,  then  night. 

FIRST  CITIZEN —  Behold,  there  comes  another  horde  of  heathen; 
Oh,  flee  and  double-bar  the  doors,   lest  they 
Again  the  whim  to  plunder  feel! 
Second  Citizen  —  Hide  ye  the  women:   but  too  well 

Knows  this  rebel  the  joys  of  the  seraglio. 


EMERICH   MADACH 


First  Citizen —  And  our  wives  the  rights  of  the  conqueror. 
Adam  —  Hold !   hold  !    why  scatter  in  such  haste  ? 

Do  ye  not  see  the  holy  sign  aloft 

That  makes  us  brothers  in  humanity 

And  companions  to  one  goal  ?  — 

We  bore  the  light  of  our  faith,  the  law 

Of  love,  into  Asia's  wilds, 

That  the  savage  millions  there 

Where  our  Savior's  cradle  stood  • 

Might  share  sweet  salvation's  boon. 

Kjiow  ye  not  this  brotherly  love  ? 
First  Citizen —  Full  many  a  time  through  honeyed  words 

Swift  harm  befell  our  homes. 

[They  disperse.} 

Adam  [to  the  knights}  — 

Behold,  this  is  the  accursed  result 

When  scheming  vagabonds 

The  sacred  symbol  flaunt, 

And  flattering  the  passions,  of  the  mob, 

Presume  unasked  to  lead. — 

Fellow  knights!     Until  our  swords 

To  honor  fair,  to  praise  of  God, 

To  women's  guard,  to  bravery, 

Be  sanctified, — are  we  in  duty  bound 

This  demon  foul  in  constant  check  to  hold, 

That  in  spite  of  godless  inclination, 

He  great  and  noble  deeds  may  do. 
Lucifer —  That  sounds  well.     But,  Tancred,  what  if  the  people 

Do  but  spurn  thy  leadership  ? 
Adam —  Where  spirit  is,  is  also  victory. 

I'll  crush  them  to  the  earth! 
Lucifer —  And  should  spirit  with  them  alike  abide, 

Wilt  thou  descend  to  them  ? 
Adam —    .  Why  descend? 

Is  it  not  nobler  to  lift  them  up  to  me  ? 

To  yield  for  lack  of  fighters 

The  foremost  place  in  battle,  were 

As  unworthy  as  to  reject  a  comrade 

In  envy  of  his  share  of  victory. 
Lucifer —  Alack!  how  the  grand  idea  has  come  to  naught 

For  which  the  martyrs  of  the  circus  fought! 

Is  this  the  freedom  of  equality  ? 

A  wondrous  brotherhood  were  that! 


EMERICH  MADACH  9519 

Adam —    Oh,  cease  thy  scorn!  Think  not  that  I  misprize 

Christianity's  exalted  precepts. 

My  being  yearns  for  them  alone! 
Whoever  hath  the  spark  divine  may  strive; 

And  him  who  upward  toils  to  us 

With  joy  we  surely  will  receive. 

A  sword-cut  lifts  him  to  our  ranks. 
But  guard  we  must  our  ranks  with  jealous  eye 
Against  the  still  fermenting  chaos  here. 
Would  that  our  time  were  already  near! 
For  only  then  can  we  be  quite  redeemed 
When  every  barrier  falls  —  when  all  is  pure. 
And  were  he  who  set  this  universe  in  motion 
Not  himself  the  great  and  mighty  God, 
I  must  needs  doubt  the  dawn  of  such  a  day. 
Ye  have  seen,  O  friends,  how  we  have  been  received: 
Orphaned  amidst  the  tumult  of  the  town, 
Naught  now  remains  save  in  yonder  grove 
A  tent  to  pitch,   as  we  were  wont  among  the  infidels, 
Till  better  times  shall  come.     Go;  I  follow  soon. 
Every  knight  stands  sponsor  for  his  men. 

[The  Crusaders  pitch  their  tent.} 

Lucifer — What  a  pity  that  thy  spirit's  lofty  flight 
Even  now  begets  such  sorry  fruit; 
Red  without,   within  already  rotten! 
Adam  —  Stop ! 

Hast  thou  no  longer  faith  in  lofty  thought? 
Lucifer —  What  boots  it  thee  if  I  believe, 

When  thine  own  race  doth  doubt  ? 
This  knighthood  which  thou  hast  placed 
As  lighthouse  amid  ocean's  waves, 
Will  yet  die  out,   or  half  collapse, 
And  make  the  sailor's  course  even  more  fearful 
Than  before,  when  no  light  shone  before  his  way. 
What  lives  to-day  and  blessing  works, 
Dies  with  time;  the  spirit  takes  wing 
And  the  carcass  but  remains,  to  breathe 
Murderous  miasmas  into  the  fresher  life 
Which  round  him  buds.     Behold,  thus 
Survive  from  bygone  times  our  old  ideals. 
Adam —        Until  our  ranks  dissolve,  its  sacred  teachings 
Will  have  had  effect  upon  the  public  mind. 
I  fear  no  danger  then. 


9520 


EMERICH   MADACH 


Lucifer —      The  holy  teachings!     They  are  your  curse  indeed, 
When  ye  approach  them  unawares, 
For  ye  turn,  sharpen,  split,  and  smooth 
Them  o'er  so  long,  till  they  your  phantoms 
Or  your  chains  become. 

And  though  reason  cannot  grasp  exact  ideas, 
Yet  ye  presumptuous  men  do  always  seek 
To  forge  them  —  to  your  harm. 

Look  thou  upon  this  sword!     It  may  by  a  hair's-breadth 
Longer  be  or  shorter,  and  yet  remains  the  same 
In  substance.      The  door  is  opened  thus  to  endless  specula- 
tion; 

For  where  is  there  limit  pre-imposed? 
'Tis  true  your  feelings  soon  perceive  the  right 
When  change  in  greater  things  sets  in. — 
But  why  speak  and  myself  exert  ?     Speech 
Is  wearisome.     Turn  thou,  survey  the  field  thyself. 
Adam —         Friends,  my  troops  are  tired  and  shelter  crave. 
In  the  Capital  of  Christendom  they  will 
Perchance  not  crave  in  vain., 
Third  Citizen  — 

The  question  is,  whether  as  heretics 
Ye're  not  worse  than  infidels!     .     .     . 
Adam —  I  stand  aghast!     But  see  —  what  prince 

Approaches  from  afar,  so  haughtily  defiant? 
Lucifer —  The  Patriarch  —  successor  to  the  Apostles. 

Adam —  And  this  barefoot,  dirty  mob 

Which  follows  with  malicious  joy 
In  the  captive's  wake, 
Feigning  humility  ? 

Lucifer —  They  are  monks,  Christian  cynics. 

Adam —  I  saw  not  such  among  my  native  hills. 

Lucifer —  You'll  see  them  yet.     Slowly,  slowly 

Spreads  the  curse  of  leprosy; 
But  beware  how  you  dare  insult 
This  people,  so  absolute  in  virtue  and 
Hence  so  hard  to  reconcile. 

Adam  —  What  virtue  could  adorn  such  folk  as  this  ? 

Lucifer —  Their  worth  is  abnegation,  poverty, 

As  practiced  first  by  the  Master  on  the  Cross. 
Adam —  He  saved  a  world  by  such  humility; 

While  these  cowards,  like  rebels, 
Do  but  blaspheme  tne  name  of  God, 
In  that  they  despise  his  gift. 


EMERICH  MADACH  95  2  T 

Who  'gainst  gnats  the  weapons  same  would  draw 
That  in  the  bear  hunt  he  is  wont  to  use 
Is  a  fool. 

Lucifer —  But  if  they  in  pious  zeal,  perchance, 

Mistake  the  gnats  for  monstrous  bears, 
Have  they  then  not  the  right  to  drive 
To  the  very  gates  of  hell 
Those  who  life  enjoy  ?    .     .     . 
Adam  {facing  the  Patriarch}  — 

Father,  we're  battling  for  the  Holy  Grave, 
And  wearied  from  the  way  which  we  have  come, 
To  rest  within  these  walls  we  are  denied. 
Thou  hast  power  here :  help  thou  our  cause. 
Patriarch  — 

My  son,  I  have  just  now  no  time  for  petty  things. 
God's  glory  and  my  people's  weal 
Call  higher  aims  now  forth.     I  must  away 
To  judge  the  heretics;  who,  like  poisonous  weeds, 
Do  grow  and  multiply,  and  whom  hell 
With  force  renewed  upon  us  throws, 
Even  though  we  constant  try  with  fire  and  sword 
To  root  them  out. 

But  if  indeed  ye  be  true  Christian  knights, 
Why  seek  the  Moor  so  far  remote  ? 
Here  lurks  a  yet  more  dangerous-  foe. 
Scale  ye  their  walls,  level  them  to  the  ground, 
And  spare  ye  neither  woman,  child,  nor  hoary  head. 
Adam —    The  innocent!     O  father,  this  cannot  be  thy  wish! 
Patriarch  — 

Innocent  is  the  serpent,  too,  while  yet  of  tender  growth 
Or  after  its  fangs  are  shed. 
Yet  sparest  thou  the  snake  ? 
Adam —  It  must,  in  faith,  have  been  a  grievous  sin 

Which  could  such  wrath  from  Christian  love  evoke. 
Patriarch  — 

O  my  son!  not  he  shows  love  who  feeds  the  flesh, 
But  he  who  leadeth  back  the  erring  soul, 
At  point  of  sword, —  or  e'en  through  leaping  flames 
If  needs  must  be,- to  Him  who  said: 
Not  peace  but  war  do  I  proclaim ! 
That  wicked  sect  interprets  false 
The  mystic  Trinity.     .     .     . 
Monks —  Death  upon  them  all! 

There  burns  the  funeral  pile. 


EMERICH  MADACH 

Adam —  My  friend,  give  up  the  iota,  pray: 

Your  inspired  valor  in  fighting 
For  the  Savior's  grave  will  be 
More  fitting  sacrifice  than  this. 
An  Old  Heretic— 

Satan,  tempt  us  not!     We'll  bleed 
For  our  true  faith  where  God  ordains. 
One  of  the  Monks  — 

Ha,  renegade !  thou  boastest  of  true  faith  ?    .     . 
Patriarch  — 

Too  long  have  we  tarried  here:   away  with  them 
To  the  funeral  pyre,  in  honor  of  God! 
The  Old  Heretic— 

In  honor  of  God  ?    Thou  spakest  well,  O  knave ! 
In  honor  of  God  are  we  indeed  your  prey. 
Ye  are  strong,  and  can  enforce  your  will 
As  ye  may  please.     But  whether  ye  have  acted  rightly 
Heaven  alone  will  judge.     Even  now  is  weighed, 
At  every  hour,  your  vile  career  of  crime. 
New  champions  shall  from  our  blood  arise; 
The  idea  lives  triumphant  on;   and  coming  centuries 
Shall  the  light  reflect  of  flames  that  blaze  to-day. 
Friends,  go  we  to  our  glorious  martyrdom! 
The  Heretics  {chanting  in  chorus}  — 

My  God,  my  God,  why  hast  thou  forsaken  me  ? 

Why  art  thou  so  far  from  helping  me 

And  from  the  words  of  my  roaring  ? 

O  my  God,  I  cry  in  the  daytime,  but  thou 

Hearest  not;   and  in  the  night  season, 

And  am  not  silent.     But  thou  art  holy! 

(Psalm  xxii.) 
Monks  [breaking  in]  — 

Plead  my  cause,  O  Lord,  with  them  that  strive  with  me; 

Fight  against  them  that  fight  against  me; 

Take  hold  of  shield  and  buckler  and  stand  up  for  mine  help; 

Draw  out  also  the  spear,  and  stop  the  way 

Against  them  that  persecute  me. 

(Psalm  xxxv.) 

[In  the  interim  the  Patriarch  and  the  procession  go  by.     The  monks  with 
tracts  mingle  among  the  Crusaders} 

Lucifer —  Why  silent  thus  and  horrified? 

Dost  hold  this  to  be  a  tragedy? 
Consider  it  a  comedy,  and  'twill  make  thee  laugh. 


EMERICH  MADACH 


9523 


Adam —  Nay,  spare  thy  banter  now!     Can  one 

For  a  mere  iota  go  firmly  thus  to  death? 
What  then  is  the  lofty  and  sublime? 
Lucifer — •  That  which  to  others  may  seem  droll. 

Only  a  hair  divides  these  two  ideas; 
A  voice  in  the  heart  alone  may  judge  betwixt  them, 
And  the  mysterious  judge  is  sympathy, 
Which,  blindly,  at  one  time  deifies, 
Then  with  brutal  scorn  condemns  to  death. 

Adam —       Why  must  my  eyes  be  witness  of  these  varied  sins? 
The  subtleties  of  proud  science,  and  of  sophistry! 
That  deadly  poison  wondrously  so  sipped 
From  the  sweetest,  gayest,  freshest  flowers? 
I  knew  this  flower  once  in  the  budding  time 
Of  our  oppressed  faith.     Where  is  the  wanton  hand 

That  ruthlessly  destroyed  it? 
Lucifer —  The  wanton  hand  is  victory, 

Which  wide-spread  once,  a  thousand  wishes  wakes, 
Danger  allies,  and  martyrs  makes, 
And  strength  endues; 
'Tis  there  among  the  heretics. 

Adam —  Verily,  I'd  cast  away  my  sword  and  turn  me 

To  my  northern  home,  where,  in  the  glades 
Of  the  shadowy  woods  primeval, 
Stern  manliness,  true  artlessness  yet  dwell, 
And  the  rancor  of  this  smooth-tongued  age  defy. 
I  would  return  but  for  a  voice  that  lisps 
The  constant  message  in  my  ears, 
That  I  alone  am  called  to  re-create  this  world. 
Lucifer—        Love's  labor  lost;   for  unaided  thou  canst 

Ne'er  prevail  against  the  ruling  spirit  of  the  age. 
The  course  of  time  is  a  mighty  stream, — 
It  buries  thee  or  bears  thee; 
Nor  canst  thou  hope  to  guide  it, 
But  only  swim  adrift  the  tide. 
Who  in  history  immortal  shine, 
And  wield  uncommon  power, 
Knew  well  the  time  in  which  they  lived, 
Yet  did  not  themselves  the  thought  create. 
Not  because  the  cock  crows  does  day  dawn, 
But  the  cock  crows  with  the  dawn  of  day; 
Yonder  those  who,  fettered,  fly  to  face 
The  terrors  of  a  death  of  martyrdom, 
See  scarce  a  step  ahead. 


EMERICH   MADACH 

The  thought  but  just  conceived  dawns  in  their  midst 

In  the  throes  of  death  they  hail  so  joyfully,— 

The  thought  which  by  a  care-free  posterity 

Will  be  inhaled  with  the  air  they  breathe. 

But  leave  thou  this  theme!     Glance  toward  thy  tent: 

What  unclean  monks  stroll  about  there? 

What  trade  they  drive,  what  speeches  make 

And  gestures  wild,  insane  ? 

Let's  nearer  draw,  and  hearken  ! 
A  Monk  in  the  centre  of  a  crowd  of  Crusaders  — 

Buy  ye,  brave  warriors;  neglect  ye  not 

This  manual  of  penance: 

'Twill  clear  all  doubt  of  conscience; 

You'll  learn  therein  much  weighty  mystery: 

How  many  years  in  hell  will  burn* 

Each  murderer,  thief,  and  ravisher, 

And  he  who  doth  our  doctrines  spurn; 

It  tells  ye  what  the  rich  may  buy 

For  a  score  or  more  of  solidi; 

And  the  poor  for  three  alone 

May  swift  obtain  salvation's  boon; 

Whilst  even  he,  to  be  quite  fair, 

Who  such  a  sum  cannot  well  spare, 

May  for  a  thousand  lashes,  mind, 

Salvation  bring  upon  his  kind. 

Buy  ye,  buy  ye,  this  precious  book! 
The  Crusaders  — 

Here,  father,  here,  give  us  a  copy  too! 
Adam —       Infamous  trader,  and  still  more  wicked  patrons, 

Draw  ye  the  sword  and  end  this  foul  traffic! 
Lucifer  {confused}  — 

I  beg  your  pardon.     This  monk  has  long  my  partner  been. 

Not  so  deeply  do  I  this  world  despise; 

When  praise  of  God  soared  high, 

My  homage  also  rose  aloft, 

Whilst  thine  remained  becalmed.     .     .  ' . 
Adam —      Help  me,  O  Lucifer!     Away,  away  from  here! 

Lead  back  my  future  into  past, 

That  I  my  fate  no  longer  see, 
Nor  view  a  fruitless  strife.     Pray  let  me  think 

If  wisdom  is  to  thwart  my  destiny! 
Lucifer —         Awake  then,  Adam, — thy  dream  is  o'er. 


EMERICH  MADACH 


FIFTEENTH  SCENE 

Scene:  A  garden  of  palms.  Adam,  young  again,  enters  from  his  bower; 
still  half  asleep,  he  looks  about  in  astonishment.  Lucifer  stands  in 
the  middle  of  the  scene.  It  is  a  radiant  day. 

ADAM —          Ye  weird  scenes  and  haggard  forms, 
How  have  ye  left  me  lone! 
Joys  and  smiles  greet  now  my  path, 
As  once  of  yore  before  my  heart  was  broken. 
Lucifer — O  boastful  man,  is  it  thy  wish,  perchance, 

That  Nature  for  thy  sake  her  law  should  change, — 
A  star  appoint  to  mark  thy  loss, 
Or  shake  the  earth  because  a  worm  has  died? 
Adam —    Have  I  dreamed,  or  am  I  dreaming  still? 
And  is  our  life  aught  but  a  dream  at  last 
Which  makes  an  inanimate  mass  to  live 
But  for  a  moment,  then  lets  it  fade  forever? 
Oh  why,  why  this  brief  glimpse  of  consciousness, 
Only  to  view  the  terrors  of  annihilation  ? 
Lucifer —  Thou  mournest  ?     Only  cowards  bend 

Their  necks  to  yoke,  and  unresisting  stand 
When  yet  the  blow  may  be  averted. 
But  unmurmuring  doth  the  strong  man 
Decipher  the  mystic  runes  eternal 
Of  his  destiny,  caring  but  to  know 
If  he  himself  can  thrive  beneath  their  doom. 
The  might  of  Fate  controls  the  world's  great  course; 
Thou  art  but  a  tool  and  blindly  onward  driven. 
Adam —    Nay,  nay,  thou  liest!   for  the  will  of  man  is  free; 
That  at  least  I've  well  deserved, 
And  for  it  have  resigned  my  Paradise! 
My  phantom  dreams  have  taught  me  much; 
Full  many  a  madness  have  I  left  behind, 
And  now  'tis  mine  to  choose  another  path. 
Lucifer —     Ay,  if  forgetting  and  eternal  hope 
Were  not  to  destiny  so  closely  wed. 
The  one  doth  heal  thy  bleeding  wounds, 
The  other  closely  screens  abysmal  depths, 
And  gives  new  courage,  saying, — 
Rash  hundreds  found  a  grave  therein, 
Thou  shalt  be  the  first  safely  to  leap  it  o'er. 
Hast  thou  not,  scholar,  full  oft  beheld 
The  many  freaks  and  whims  among 


EMERICH  MADACH 

The  parasites  that  brood  and  breed 
In  cats  and  owls  only, 
But  must  pass  in  mice  their  earliest  stage 
Of  slow  development? 
Not  just  the  one  or  other  mouse 
Predestined  is  the  claw  to  feel 
Of  cat  or  owl;   who  cautious  is 
May  even  both  avoid,  and  keep 
In  ripe  old  age  his  nest  and  house. 
A  relentless  hand  doth  yet  provide 
Just  such  a  number  for  his  foes 
As  its  presence  here  on  earth 
Ages  hence  insures. 
Nor  is  the  human  being  bound, 
And  yet  the  race  wears  chains. 
Zeal  carries  thee  like  a  flood  along: 
To-day  for  this,  for  that  to-morrow, 
The  funeral  pyres  will  their  victims  claim, 
And  of  scoffers  there  will  be  no  lack; 
While  he  who  registers  the  count 
Will  be  in  wonder  lost,  that  wanton  fate 
Should  have  maintained  such  rare  consistency 
In  making,  matching,  marring, 
In  virtue,  faith,  and  sin  and  death, 
In  suicide  and  lunacy. 
Adam —      Hold!    An  inspiration  fires  my  brain; 

I  may  then  thee,  Almighty  God,  defy. 

Should  fate  but  cry  to  life  a  thousand  halts, 

I'd  laugh  serene  and  die,  should  I  so  please. 

Am  I  not  lone  and  single  in  this  world  ? 

Before  me  frowns  that  cliff,  beneath  whose  base 

Yawns  the  dark  abysmal  gulf. 

One  leap,  the  final  scene,  and  I  shall  cry — 

Farewell,  the  farce  at  last  is  ended! 

[Adam  approaches  the  cliff,  as  Eve  appears.'} 

Lucifer —   Ended!    What  simple-minded  phrases! 
Is  not  each  moment  end  and 
Beginning  too  ?    Alas !  and  but  for  this 
Hast  thou  surveyed  millennial  years  to  come  ? 
Eve —          I  pray  thee,  Adam,  why  didst  steal  off  from  me? 
Thy  last  cold  kiss  still  chills  my  heart; 
And  even  now,  sorrow  or  anger  sits 
Upon  thy  brow;  I  shrink  from  thee! 


EMERICH   MADACH  9537 

Adam  [going  ori\  — 

Why  follow  me  ?    Why  dog  my  footsteps  ? 
The  ruler  of  creation,  man, 
Has  weightier  things  to  do 
Than  waste  in  sportive  love  his  days. 
Woman  understands  not;  is  a  burden  only. 
[Softening}  — 

Oh,  why  didst  thou  not  longer  slumber? 
Far  harder  now  the  sacrifice  will  be 
.     That  I  for  future  ages  offer  must. 
Eve —  Shouldst  hear  me,  lord,  'twill  easier  be: 

What  doubtful  was,  is  now  assured, — 
The  future. 

Adam —  How  now? 

Eve —  The  hope  my  lips  thus  fain  would  lisp 

Will  lift  the  cloud  and  clear  thy  brow. 
Come  then  a  little  nearer,  pray! 
O  Adam,  hear:  I  am  a  mother. 
Adam  [sinking  upon  his  knee}  — 

Thou  hast  conquered  me,  O  Lord! 
Behold,  in  the  dust  I  lie. 

Without  thee  as  against  thee  I  strive  in  vain; 
Thou  mayest  raise  me  up  or  strike  me  down, — 
I  bare  my  heart  and  soul  before  thee. 
God  {appearing,  surrounded  by  angels}  — 

Adam,  rise,  and  be  thou  not  cast  down. 
Behold,  I  take  thee  back  to  me, 
Reconciled  by  my  saving  grace. 
Lucifer  [aside]  — 

Family  scenes  are  not  my  specialty. 
They  may  affect  the  heart, 
But  the  mind  shrinks  from  such  monotony; 
Methinks  I'll  slink  away.  [About  to  go. 

God —          Lucifer!   I'll  have  a  word  with  thee, —  remain! 
And  thou,  my  son,  confess  what  troubles  thee. 
Adam —  Fearful  images  haunted  me,  O  Lord, 

And  what  was  true  therein  I  cannot  tell; 
Intrust  to  me,  I  beg,  I  supplicate, 
The  mystery  of  all  my  future  state. 
Is  there  naught  else  besides  this  narrow  life 
Which,  becoming  clarified  like  wine, 
Thou  mayest  spill  with  every  whim  of  thine, 
And  dust  may  drink  it  ? 
Or  didst  thou  mean  the  soul  for  higher  things  ? 


95*3 


EMERICH  MADACH 


Will  further  toil  and  forward  stride  my  kind, 
Still  growing  nobler,  till  we  perfection  find 
Near  thine  almighty  Throne  ? 

Or  drudge  to  death  like  some  blind  treadmill-horse 
Without  the  hope  of  ever  changing  course  ? 
Doth  noble  striving  meet  with  just  reward, 
When  he  who  for  ideals  gives  his  blood 

Is  mocked  at  by  a  soulless  throng  ? 
Enlighten  me;  grateful  will  I  bear  my  lot: 

I  can  but  win  by  such  exchange, 

For  this  suspense  is  hell. 
God —  Seek  not  to  solve  the  mystery 

Which  Godly  grace  and  sense  benign 

Hath  screened  from  human  sight. 

If  thou  couldst  see  that  transient  is 

The  soul's  sojourn  upon  this  world, 

And  that  it  upward  soars 

To  life  unending,  in  the  great  beyond, — 

Sorrow  would  no  virtue  be. 

If  dust  absorbed  thy  soul  alike, 

What  would  spur  thee  on  to  thought? 

Who  would  prompt  thee  to  resign 

Thy  grosser  joys  for  virtue  fine  ? 

Whilst  now,  though  burdened  with  life, 

Thy  future  beckons  from  afar, 
.    Shimmering  through  the  clouds 

And  lifting  thee  to  higher  spheres. 
And  should,  at  times,  this  pride  thy  heart  inflame, 
Thy  span  of  life  will  soon  control  thy  pace, 
And  nobleness  and  virtue  reign  supreme. 
Lucifer  \laughing  derisively}  — 

Verily,  glory  floods  the  paths  you  tread, 
Since  greatness,  virtue,  are  to  lead  thee  on. 
Two  words  which  only  pass  in.  blessed  deed 
When  superstition,  ignorance,  and  prejudice 

Keep  constant  guard  and  company. — 
Why  did  I  ever  seek  to  work  out  great  ideas 
Through  man,  of  dust  and  sunbeams  formed, 
So  dwarfed  in  knowledge,  in  blind  error  so  gigantic  ? 
Adam —         Cease  thy  scorn,  O  Lucifer!  cease  thy  scorn! 
I  saw  full  well  thy  wisdom's  edifice, 

Wherein  my  heart  felt  only  chilled; 
But,  gracious  God,  who  shall  sustain  me  now 
And  lead  me  onward  in  the  paths  of  right, 


EMERICH   MADACH 

Since  thou  didst  withdraw  the  hand  that  guided  me, 
Before  I  tasted  fruit  of  idle  knowledge  ? 

God —      Strong  is  thine  arm,  full  thy  heart  of  lofty  thoughts; 
The  field  is  boundless  where  thou  seed  shouldst  sow. 
Give  thou  but  heed!     A  voice  shall  ceaseless  call  thee  back. 
Or  constant  speed  thee  on: 
Follow  its  lead.     And  if  at  times 
This  heavenly  sound  be  hushed  in  midst  the  whirl 
Of  thine  eventful  years,  the  purer  soul 
Of  woman,  unselfish,  pure,  and  gentle, 
Will  surely  hear  it,  and  thrilled  by  woman's  love, 
Thy  soul  shall  soar  in  Poetry  and  Song! 
And  by  thy  side  she   loyally  will  watch, 
Mounted  on  these  cherubim, 
In  sorrow  pale  or  rosy  joy, 
A  cheering,  soothing  genius. 
Thou  too,  O  Lucifer,  a  link  but  art 
In  my  wide  universe;   so  labor  on! 
Thy  frosty  knowledge  and  thy  mad  denial 
Will  cause,  like  yeast,  the  mind  to  effervesce. 
E'en  though  it  turns  him  from  the  beaten  track, 
It  matters  not.     He'll  soon  return; 
But  endless  shall  thy  penance  be, 
Since  thou  art  ever  doomed  to  see 
How  beauty  buds  and  virtue  sprouts 
From  the  seed  thou  wouldst  have  spoiled. 

Chorus  of  Angels 

Choice  between  the  good  and  evil, 

Wondrous  thought,  sublime  decision! 

Still  to  know  that  thou  art  shielded 
By  a  gracious  God's  provision. 

For  the  right,  then,  be  thou  steadfast, 
Though  thou  labor  without  meed; 

Thy  reward  shall  be  the  knowledge 
Thou  hast  done  a  noble  deed. 

Greatness  grows  in  goodness  only; 

Shame  will  keep  the  good  man  just, 
And  the  fear  of  shame  uplifts  him, 

While  the  mean  man  crawls  in  dust. 

But  when  treading  paths  exalted, 
This  blind  error  cherish  not, — 


9530  EMERICH  MADACH 

That  the  glory  thou  achievest 
Adds  to  God's  a  single  jot: 

For  he  needs  not  thy  assistance 

To  accomplish  his  designs; 
Be  thou  thankful  if  he  calls  thee 

And  a  task  to  thee  assigns. 

Eve —     Praise  be  to  God,  I  understand  thife  song. 
Adam  —  I  divine  the  message  and  submit  to  its  decree. 

Ah,  could  I  only  the  distant  end  foresee! 
God —  I  have  ordained,  O  man, — 

Struggle  thou  and  trust! 

Translated  for  <A  Library  of  the  World's  Best  Literature  >  by  G.  A.  Kotnat 


JAMES    MADISON 


JAMES  MADISON 

(1751-1836) 

|HE  writings  of  James  Madison  were  designed  to  serve  the 
ends  of  practical  politics.  Yet,  despite  the  absence  of  a  lit- 
erary motive,  they  possess  qualities  which  entitle  them  to 
a  permanent  place  in  American  literature.  Madison's  papers  in  the 
Federalist,  for  example,  are  models  of  political  essay-writing. 

James  Madison  was  the  son  of  a  wealthy  planter  of  Orange 
County,  Virginia,  and  was  born  at  Port  Con  way,  March  i6th,  1751. 
He  was  graduated  at  Princeton  in  1772.  Two  years  later,  at  the 
age  of  twenty-three,  he  was  appointed  a  member  of  the  Committee 
of  Public  Safety  for  Orange  County;  and  thenceforward,  .with  a  few 
unimportant  interruptions,  took  an  active  part  in  politics  until  1817, 
when,  at  the  close  of  his  second  term  as  President  of  the  United 
States,  he  retired  permanently  from  public  life. 

His  first  notable  publication  was  a  paper  entitled  <A  Memorial 
and  Remonstrance,  >  addressed  to  the  General  Assembly  of  Virginia. 
It  appeared  in  1785,  and  was  directed  against  a  bill  providing  for  a 
tax  "for  the  support  of  teachers  of  the  Christian  religion, »  the  vote 
on  which  in  the  Legislature  he  had  with  difficulty  been  able  to  post- 
pone. Copies  of  the  paper  were  distributed  throughout  the  State,  with 
the  result  that  in  the  next  election  religious  freedom  was  made  a  test 
question.  In  the  session  of  the  Legislature  which  followed  the  elec- 
tion the  obnoxious  bill  was  defeated,  and  in  place  thereof  was  enacted 
the  bill  establishing  religious  freedom  offered  by  Jefferson  seven  years 
before.  The  Religious  Freedom  Act  disestablished  the  Episcopal 
Church  in  Virginia,  and  abolished  religious  tests  for  public  office. 

Madison's  chief  work  both  as  a  constructive  statesman  and  as  a 
publicist  was  done  in  connection  with  the  Constitutional  Convention 
of  1787.  The  epithet  <(  Father  of  the  Constitution, })  sometimes  applied 
to  him,  is  not  undeserved,  inasmuch  as  he  was  the  author  of  the 
leading  features  of  that  instrument.  In  common  with  others,  he 
had  for  some  time  seen  the  impossibility  of  maintaining  an  effective 
government  under  the  Articles  of  Confederation.  With  the  thorough- 
ness characteristic  of  his  nature,  he  had  made  a  study  of  ancient  and 
modern  confederacies, — including,  as  his  notes  show,  the  Lycian,  the 
Amphictyonic,  the  Achaean,  the  Helvetic,  the  Belgic,  and  the  Ger- 
man,—  with  a  view  to  discovering  the  proper  remedy  for  the  defects 


9532 


JAMES  MADISON 


in  the  Articles  of  Confederation.  Before  the  convention  met,  he  laid 
before  his  colleagues  of  the  Virginia  delegation  the  outlines  of  the 
scheme  of  government  that  was  presented  to  the  convention  as  the 
<( Virginia  plan."  .This  plan  was  introduced  at  the  beginning  of 
the  convention  by  Edmund  Randolph,  who,  by  virtue  of  his  office  as 
governor  of  Virginia,  was  regarded  as  the  member  most  fit  to  speak 
for  the  delegation;  but  its  chief  supporter  in  the  debate  which  fol- 
lowed was  Madison.  The  fundamental  defect  of  the  government 
created  by  the  Articles  of  Confederation  was  that  it  operated  on 
States  only,  not  upon  individuals.  The  delegates  to  the  Continental 
Congress  were  envoys  from  sovereign  States  rather  than  members 
of  a  legislative  body.  They  might  deliberate  and  advise,  but  had 
no  means  of  enforcing  their  decisions.  Thus  they  were  empowered 
to  determine  the  share  of  the  expenses  of  the  general  government 
which  each  State  should  pay,  but  were  unable  to  coerce  a  delinquent 
State.  The  Virginia  plan  contemplated  a  government  essentially  the 
same  as  that  created  by  the  Constitution;  with  this  difference,  that  it 
provided  for  representation  according  to  population,  both  in  the  upper 
and  in  the  lower  house  of  the  legislature.  The  hand  of  Madison  is 
also  seen  in  some  of  the  provisions  of  the  Constitution  which  were 
not  contained  in  the  Virginia  plan.  Thus,  for  instance,  he  was  the 
author  of  the  famous  compromise  in  accordance  with  which,  for 
purposes  of  direct  taxation  and  of  representation,  five  slaves  were 
counted  as  three  persons. 

During  the  convention  Madison  kept  a  journal  of  its  debates,  which 
forms  the  chief  authority  for  the  deliberations  of  that  historic  body. 
This  journal,  together  with  his  notes  on  the  proceedings  of  the  Con-( 
tinental  Congress  from  November  1782  to  February  1783,  was  pur- 
chased by  the  government  after  his  death;  both  have  been  published 
by  order  of  Congress  under  the  title  of  <The  Madison  Papers.  >  It 
may  here  be  noted  also  that  the  remainder  of  his  writings,  including 
his  correspondence,  speeches,  etc.,  from  1769  to  1836,  have  been  pub- 
lished by  the  government  in  a  separate  work,  entitled  ( Writings  of 
James  Madison. J 

After  the  adjournment  of  the  convention  Madison  devoted  his 
energies  toward  securing  the  ratification  of  the  Constitution.  He  not 
only  successfully  opposed  the  eloquence  and  prestige  of  Patrick  Henry 
and  Richard  Henry  Lee  in  the  Virginia  ratifying  convention,  but  also 
wrote  with  Hamilton  and  Jay  that  series  of  essays,  appearing  origi- 
nally in  certain  New  York  newspapers,  which  has  been  preserved  in 
book  form  under  the  title  of  <The  Federalist';  and  which,  though 
intended  primarily  to  influence  the  action  of  the  extremely  doubtful 
State  of  New  York,  served  to  reinforce  the  arguments  of  the  advo- 
cates of  ratification  in  other  States  also. 


JAMES   MADISON 

'The  Federalist y  is  composed  of  eighty-five  essays;  of  which,  ac- 
cording to  the  memorandum  made  by  Madison,  he  wrote  twenty-nine, 
Hamilton  fifty-one,  and  Jay  five, — one  or  two  being  written  jointly. 
It  discussed  the  utility  of  the  proposed  union,  the  inefficiency  of  the 
existing  Confederation,  the  necessity  of  a  government  at  least  equally 
energetic  with  the  one  proposed,  the  conformity  of  the  Constitution  to 
the  true  principles  of  republican  government,  its  analogy  to  the  State 
constitutions,  and  the  additional  security  which  its  adoption  would  give 
to  liberty  and  property.  Madison's  papers  defined  republican  govern- 
ment, and  surveyed  the  powers  vested  in  the  Union,  the  relations 
between  the  Federal  and  State  governments,  the  distribution  of  power 
among  the  legislative,  executive,  and  judicial  branches  of  the  govern- 
ment, and  the  structure  of  the  legislative  department;  taking  up  in 
conjunction  with  the  last-mentioned  subject  most  of  the  vital  ques- 
tions, both  theoretical  and  practical,  connected  with  representative 
institutions. 

Madison  wrote  in  the  style  that  prevailed  at  the  close  of  •  the 
eighteenth  century.  His  language,  while  occasionally  involved  and 
heavy  with  orotund  Latin  derivatives,  is  rhythmical,  dignified,  and 
impressive.  His  writings  have  no  imagination,  wit,  or  humor;  but 
the  absence  of  these  qualities  is  atoned  for  by  clearness,  sincerity, 
and  aptness  of  illustration.  Possessed  of  depth  and  genuineness  of 
feeling  coupled  with  an  extraordinary  power  of  logical  exposition,  he 
was  considered  by  Jefferson,  some  years  after  the  adoption  of  the 
Constitution,  to  be  the  only  writer  in  the  Republican  party  capable  of 
opposing  Alexander  Hamilton,  the  Federalist  <(  colossus  of  debate." 

At  the  opening  of  the  First  Congress,  Madison  took  his  seat  in 
the  House  of  Representatives, — the  influence  of  Henry  and  the  Anti- 
Federalists  in  the  Virginia  State  Legislature  having  prevented  his 
election  to  the  Senate.  In  the  differentiation  of  parties  occasioned  by 
Hamilton's  nationalizing  financial  policy,  Madison  allied  himself  with 
the  Republicans  and  became  the  leader  of  the  opposition  in  the 
House.  His  change  of  attitude  from  that  of  an  extreme  nationalist 
to  that  of  an  extreme  States-rights  man  was  no  doubt  due  in  large 
part  to  the  influence  of  his  friend  and  intimate  Thomas  Jefferson. 
No  two  documents  can  be  more  dissimilar  than  the  Virginia  plan, 
which  would  have  invested  Congress  with  a  veto  on  State  legislation, 
and  the  famous  Virginia  Resolutions  of  1789  and  1799,  of  which  Mad- 
ison was  the  author.  However,  his  inconsistency  was  perhaps  more 
apparent  than  real;  for  having  once  given  in  his  adhesion  to  the 
Constitution,  it  was  perfectly  logical  to  desire  a  strict  construction  of 
that  instrument  to  preserve  the  balance  struck  in  it  between  the 
State  and  Federal  governments. 

On  the  inauguration  of  Jefferson  as  President  in  1801,  Madison 
accepted  the  Secretaryship  of  State.  It  was  while  holding  this  office 


JAMES  MADISON 

that  he  wrote  the  pamphlet  (An  Examination  of  the  British  Doctrine 
which  Subjects  to  Capture  a  Neutral  Trade  not  Open  in  Time  of 
Peace.  >  At  the  close  of  Jefferson's  second  term,  March  4th,  1809, 
Madison  became  President.  He  had  been  to  his  predecessor  an  able 
and  efficient  lieutenant.  He  was,  however,  a  scholar  rather  than  a 
man  of  action;  and  it  was  his  misfortune  that  his  administration  fell 
in  a  period  which  required  more  than  ordinary  talents  of  leadership, 
and  those  of  a  different  stamp  from  his  own.  His  conduct  of  the 
War  of  1812  was  weak  and  hesitating,  and  added  nothing  to  the  glory 
of  his  previous  career.  He  retired  at  the  expiration  of  his  second 
term  in  1817  to  Montpelier,  his  country  seat  in  Virginia,  where  he 
died  June  28th,  1836. 


FROM   <THE  FEDERALIST  > 
AN  OBJECTION  DRAWN  FROM  THE  EXTENT  OF  COUNTRY  ANSWERED 

WE  HAVE  seen  the  necessity  of  the  Union,  as  our  bulwark 
against  foreign  danger;  as  the  conservator  of  peace  among 
ourselves;  as  the  guardian  of  our  commerce,  and  other 
common  interests;  as  the  only  substitute  for  those  military  estab- 
lishments which  have  subverted  the  liberties  of  the  Old  World; 
and  as  the  proper  antidote  for  the  diseases  of  faction,  which  have 
proved  fatal  to  other  popular  governments,  and  of  which  alarm- 
ing symptoms  have  been  betrayed  by  our  own.  All  that  remains, 
within  this  branch  of  our  inquiries,  is  to  take  notice  of  an  objec- 
tion that  may  be  drawn  from  the  great  extent  of  country  which 
the  Union  embraces.  A  few  observations  on  this  subject  will  be 
the  more  proper,  as  it  is  perceived  that  the  adversaries  of  the 
new  Constitution  are  availing  themselves  of  a  prevailing  prejudice 
with  regard  to  the  practicable  sphere  of  republican  administra- 
tion, in  order  to  supply,  by  imaginary  difficulties,  the  want  of 
those  solid  objections  which  they  endeavor  in  vain  to  find. 

The  error  which  limits  republican  government  to  a  narrow 
district  has  been  unfolded  and  refuted  in  preceding  papers.  I 
remark  here  only,  that  it  seems  to  owe  its  rise  and  prevalence 
chiefly  to  the  confounding  of  a  republic  with  a  democracy,  and 
applying  to  the  former,  reasonings  drawn  from  the  nature  of 
the  latter.  The  true  distinction  between  these  forms  was  also 
adverted  to  on  a  former  occasion.  It  is,  that  in  a  democracy  the 
people  meet  and  exercise  the  government  in  person;  in  a  repub- 
lic they  assemble  and  administer  it  by  their  representatives  and 


JAMES   MADISON 

agents.  A  democracy,  consequently,  must  be  confliiecl  to  a  Small 
spot.  A  republic  may  be  extended  over  a  large  region. 

To  this  accidental  source  of  the  error  may  be  added  the 
artifice  of  some  celebrated  authors  whose  writings  have  had  a 
great  share  in  forming  the  modern  standard  of  political  opinions. 
Being  subjects  either  of  an  absolute  or  limited  monarchy,  they 
have  endeavored  to  heighten  the  advantages  or  palliate  the  evils 
of  those  forms,  by  placing  in  comparison  with  them  the  vices 
and  defects  of  the  republican;  and  by  citing,  as  specimens  of  the 
latter,  the  turbulent  democracies  of  ancient  Greece  and  modern 
Italy.  Under  the  confusion  of  names,  it  has  been  an  easy  task 
to  transfer  to  a  republic,  observations  applicable  to  a  democracy 
only;  and  among  others,  the  observation  that  it  can  never  be 
established  but  among  a  small  number  of  people,  living  within  a 
small  compass  of  territory. 

Such  a  fallacy  may  have  been  the  less  perceived,  as  most 
of  the  popular  governments  of  antiquity  were  of  the  democratic 
species;  and  even  in  modern  Europe,  to  which  we  owe  the  great 
principle  of  representation,  no  example  is  seen  of  a  government 
wholly  popular  and  founded  at  the  same  time  wholly  on  that 
principle.  If  Europe  has  the  merit  of  discovering  this  great 
mechanical  power  in  government,  by  the  simple  agency  of  which 
the  will  of  the  largest  political  body  may  be  concentred,  and  its 
force  directed  to  any  object  which  the  public  good  requires, 
America  can  claim  the  merit  of  making  the  discovery  the  basis 
of  unmixed  and  extensive  republics.  It  is  only  to  be  lamented, 
that  any  of  her  citizens  should  wish  to  deprive  her  of  the  addi- 
tional merit  of  displaying  its  full  efficacy  in  the  establishment  of 
the  comprehensive  system  now  under  her  consideration. 

As  the  natural  limit  of  a  democracy  is  that  distance  from  the 
central  point  which  will  just  permit  the  most  remote  citizens  to 
assemble  as  often  as  their  public  functions  demand,  and  will 
include  no  greater  number  than  can  join  in  those  functions,  so 
the  natural  limit  of  a  republic  is  that  distance  from  the  centre 
which  will  barely  allow  the  representatives  of  the  people  to  meet 
as  often  as  may  be  necessary  for  the  administration  of  public 
affairs.  Can  it  be  said  that  the  limits  of  the  United  States  ex- 
ceed this  distance  ?  It  will  not  be  said  by  those  who  recollect 
that  the  Atlantic  coast  is  the  longest  side  of  the  Union ;  that  dur- 
ing the  term  of  thirteen  years,  the  representatives  of  the  States 
have  been  almost  continually  assembled;  and  that  the  members 


JAMES   MADISON 

from  the  most  distant  States  are  not  chargeable  with  greater 
intermissions  of  attendance  than  those  from  the  States  in  the 
neighborhood  of  Congress. 

That  we  may  form  a  juster  estimate  with  regard  to  this  inter- 
esting subject,  let  us  resort  to  the  actual  dimensions  of  the 
Union.  The  limits,  as  fixed  by  the  treaty  of  peace,  are  —  on  the 
east  the  Atlantic,  on  the  south  the  latitude  of  thirty-one  degrees, 
on  the  west  the  Mississippi,  and  on  the  north  an  irregular  line 
running  in  some  instances  beyond  the  forty-fifth  degree,  in  oth- 
ers falling  as  low  as  the  forty-second.  The  southern  shore  of 
Lake  Erie  lies  below  that  latitude.  Computing  the  distance  be- 
tween the  thirty-first  and  forty-fifth  degrees,  it  amounts  to  nine 
hundred  and  seventy-three  common  miles;  computing  it  from 
thirty-one  to  forty-two  degrees,  to  seven  hundred  and  sixty-four 
miles  and  a  half.  Taking  the  mean  for  the  distance,  the  amount 
will  be  eight  hundred  and  sixty-eight  miles  and  three  fourths. 
The  mean  distance  from  the  Atlantic  to  the  Mississippi  does  not 
probably  exceed  seven  hundred  and  fifty  miles.  On  a  comparison 
of  this  extent  with  that  of  several  countries  in  Europe,  the  prac- 
ticability of  rendering  our  system  commensurate  to  it  appears 
to  be  demonstrable.  It  is  not  a  great  deal  larger  than  Ger 
many,  where  a  diet  representing  the  whole  empire  is  continually 
assembled;  or  than  Poland  before  the  late  dismemberment,  where 
another  national  diet  was  the  depository  of  the  supreme  power. 
Passing  by  France  and  Spain,  we  find  that  in  Great  Britain, 
inferior  as  it  may  be  in  size,  the  representatives  of  the  northern 
extremity  of  the  island  have  as  far  to  travel  to  the  national 
council  as  will  be  required  of  those  of  the  most  remote  parts  of 
the  Union. 

Favorable  as  this  view  of  the  subject  may  be,  some  observa- 
tions remain  which  will  place  it  in  a  light  still  more  satisfactory. 

In  the  first  place,  it  is  to  be  remembered  that  the  general 
government  is  not  to  be  charged  with  the  whole  power  of  mak- 
ing and  administering  laws:  its  jurisdiction  is  limited  to  cer- 
tain enumerated  objects,  which  concern  all  the  members  of  the 
republic,  but  which  are  not  to  be  attained  by  the  separate  pro- 
visions of  any.  The  subordinate  governments,  which  can  extend 
their  care  to  all  those  other  objects  which  can  be  separately  pro- 
vided for,  will  retain  their  due  authority  and  activity.  Were  it 
proposed  by  the  plan  of  the  convention  to  abolish  the  govern- 
ments of  the  particular  States,  its  adversaries  would  have  soms 


JAMES  MADISON 

ground  for  their  objection;  though  it  would  not  be  difficult  to 
show  that  if  they  were  abolished,  the  general  government  would 
be  compelled,  by  the  principle  of  self-preservation,  to  reinstate 
them  in  their  proper  jurisdiction. 

A  second  observation  to  be  made  is,  that  the  immediate  ob- 
ject of  the  Federal  Constitution  is  to  secure  the  union  of  the 
thirteen  primitive  States,  which  we  know  to  be  practicable;  and 
to  add  to  them  such  other  States  as  may  arise  in  their  own 
bosoms,  or  in  their  neighborhoods,  which  we  cannot  doubt  to 
be  equally  practicable.  The  arrangements  that  may  be  neces- 
sary for  those  angles  and  fractions  of  our  territory  which  lie  on 
our  northwestern  frontier  must  be  left  to  those  whom  further 
discoveries  and  experience  will  render  more  equal  to  the  task. 

Let  it  be  remarked,  in  the  third  place,  that  the  intercourse 
throughout  the  Union  will  be  daily  facilitated  -by  new  improve- 
ments. Roads  will  everywhere  be  shortened,  and  kept  in  bet- 
ter order;  accommodations  for  travelers  will  be  multiplied  and 
meliorated;  an  interior  navigation  on  our  eastern  side  will  be 
opened  throughout,  or  nearly  throughout,  the  whole  extent  of  the 
thirteen  States.  The  communication  between  the  western  and 
Atlantic  districts,  and  between  different  parts  of  each,  will  be 
rendered  more  and  more  easy  by  those  numerous  canals  with 
which  the  beneficence  of  nature  has  intersected  our  country,  and 
which  art  finds  it  so  little  difficult  to  connect  and  complete. 

A  fourth  and  still  more  important  consideration  is,  that  as 
almost  every  State  will  on  one  side  or  other  be  a  frontier, 
and  will  thus  find,  in  a  regard  to  its  safety,  an  inducement  to 
make  some  sacrifices  for  the  sake  of  general  protection,  so  the 
States  which  lie  at  the  greatest  distance  from  the  heart  of  the 
union,  and  which  of  course  may  partake  least  of  the  ordinary 
circulation  of  its  benefits,  will  be  at  the  same  time  immediately 
contiguous  to  foreign  nations,  and  will  consequently  stand,  on  par- 
.ticular  occasions,  in  greatest  need  of  its  strength  and  resources. 
It  may  be  inconvenient  for  Georgia,  or  the  States  forming  our 
western  or  northeastern  borders,  to  send  their  representatives  to 
the  seat  of  government;  but  they  would  find  it  more  so  to  strug- 
gle alone  against  an  invading  enemy,  or  even  to  support  alone 
the  whole  expense  of  those  precautions  which  may  be  dictated 
by  the  neighborhood  of  continual  danger.  If  they  should  derive 
less  benefit  therefore  from  the  union,  in  some  respects,  than  the 
less  distant  States,  they  will  derive  greater  benefit  from  it  in 


JAMES  MADISON 

other  respects;  and  thus  the  proper  equilibrium  will  be  main- 
tained throughout. 

I  submit  to  you,  my  fellow-citizens,  these  considerations,  in  full 
confidence  that  the  good  sense  which  has  so  often  marked  your 
decisions  will  allow  them  their  due  weight  and  effect;  and  that 
you  will  never  suffer  difficulties,  however  formidable  in  appear- 
ance, or  however  fashionable  the  error  on  which  they  may  be 
founded,  to  drive  you  into  the  gloomy  and  perilous  scenes  into 
which  the  advocates  for  disunion  would  conduct  you.  Hearken 
not  to  the  unnatural  voice  which  tells  you  that  the  people  of 
America,  knit  together  as  they  are  by  so  many  chords  of  affec- 
tion, can  no  longer  live  together  as  members  of  the  same  fam- 
ily; can  no  longer  continue  the  mutual  guardians  of  their  mutual 
happiness;  can  no  longer  be  fellow-citizens  of  one  great,  respect- 
able, and  flourishing  empire.  Hearken  not  to  the  .  voice  which 
petulantly  tells  you  that  the  form  of  government  recommended 
for  your  adoption  is  a  novelty  in  the  political  world;  that  it  has 
never  yet  had  a  place  in  the  theories  of  the  wildest  projectors; 
that  it  rashly  attempts  what  it  is  impossible  to  accomplish.  No, 
my  countrymen:  shut  your  ears  against  this  unhallowed  language. 
Shut  your  hearts  against  the  poison  which  it  conveys.  The  kin- 
dred blood  which  flows  in  the  veins  of  American  citizens,  the 
mingled  blood  which  they  have  shed  in  defense  of  their  sacred 
rights,  consecrate  their  union,  and  excite  horror  at  the  idea  of 
their  becoming  aliens,  rivals,  enemies.  And  if  novelties  are  to 
be  shunned,  believe  me,  the  most  alarming  of  all  novelties,  the 
most  wild  of  all  projects,  the  most  rash  of  all  attempts,  is  that 
of  rending  us  in  pieces  in  order  to  preserve  our  liberties  and 
promote  our  happiness. 

But  why  is  the  experiment  of  an  extended  republic  to  be 
rejected,  merely  because  it  may  comprise  what  is  new  ?  Is  it  not 
the  glory  of  the  people  of  America,  that  whilst  they  have  paid  a 
decent  regard  to  the  opinions  of  former  times  and  other  nations, 
they  have  not  suffered  a  blind  veneration  for  antiquity,  for  cus- 
tom, or  for  names,  to  overrule  the  suggestions  of  their  own 
good  sense,  the  knowledge  of  their  own  situation,  and  the  les- 
sons of  their  own  experience?  To  this  manly  spirit,  posterity  will 
be  indebted  for  the  possession,  and  the  world  for  the  example, 
of  the  numerous,  innovations  displayed  on  the  American  thea- 
tre in  favor  of  private  rights  and  public  happiness.  Had  no 
important  step  been  taken  by  the  leaders  of  the  Revolution  for 


JAMES  MADISON 

which  a  precedent  could-  not  be  discovered, —  no  government 
established  of  which  an  exact  model  did  not  present  itself, — the 
people  of  the  United  States  might  at  this  moment  have  been 
numbered  among  the  melancholy  victims  of  misguided  councils; 
must  at  best  have  been  laboring  under  the  weight  of  some  of 
those  forms  which  have  crushed  the  liberties  of  the  rest  of  man- 
kind. Happily  for  America, — happily,  we  trust,  for  the  whole 
human  race, —  they  pursued  a  new  and  more  noble  course.  They 
accomplished  a  revolution  which  has  no  parallel  in  the  annals  of 
human  society.  They  reared  the  fabrics  of  governments  which 
have  no  model  on  the  face  of  the  globe.  They  formed  the 
design  of  a  great  confederacy,  which  it  is  incumbent  on  their  suc- 
cessors to  improve  and  perpetuate.  If  their  works  betray  imper- 
fections, we  wonder  at  the  fewness  of  them.  If  they  erred  most 
in  the  structure  of  the  union,  this  was  the  work  most  difficult  to 
be  executed;  this  is  the  work  which  has  been  new  modeled  by 
the  act  of  your  convention,  and  it  is  that  act  on  which  you  are 
now  to  deliberate  and  to  decide. 


INTERFERENCE   TO   QUELL   DOMESTIC   INSURRECTION 
From  <The  Federalist  > 

AT  FIRST  view,  it  might  seem  not  to  square  with  the  repub- 
lican theory  to  suppose  either  that  a  majority  have  not  the 
right,  or  that  a  minority  will  have  the  force,  to  subvert  a 
government;  and  consequently,  that  the  federal  interposition  can 
never  be  required  but  when  it  would  be  improper.  But  theoretic 
reasoning,  in  this  as  in  most  other  cases,  must  be  qualified  by 
the  lessons-  of  practice.  Why  may  not  illicit  combinations,  for 
purposes  of  violence,  be  formed  as  well  by  a  majority  of  a  State, 
especially  a  small  State,  as  by  a  majority  of  a  county  or  a  dis- 
trict of  the  same  State;  and  if  the  authority  of  the  State  ought 
in  the  latter  case  to  protect  the  local  magistracy,  ought  not  the 
Federal  authority,  in  the  former,  to  support  the  State  authority? 
Besides,  there  are  certain  parts  of  the  State  constitutions  which 
are  so  interwoven  with  the  federal  Constitution,  that  a  violent 
blow  cannot  be  given  to  the  one  without  communicating  the  • 
wound  to  the  other.  Insurrections  in  a  State  will  rarely  induce 
a  federal  interposition,  unless  the  number  concerned  in  them 
bear  some  proportion  to  the  friends  of  government.  It  will  be 


JAMES  MADISON 

much  better  that  the  violence  in  such  cases  should  be  repressed 
by  the  superintending  power,  than  that  the  majority  should  be 
left  to  maintain  their  cause  by  a  bloody  and  obstinate  contest. 
The  existence  of  a  right  to  interpose  will  generally  prevent  the 
necessity  of  exerting  it. 

Is  it  true  that  force  and  right  are  necessarily  on  the  same  side 
in  republican  governments  ?  May  not  the  minor  party  possess 
such  a  superiority  of  pecuniary  resources,  of  military  talents  and 
experience,  or  of  secret  succors  from  foreign  powers,  as  will  ren- 
der it  superior  also  in  an  appeal  to  the  sword?  May  not  a  more 
compact  and  advantageous  position  turn  the  scale  on  the  same 
side,  against  a  superior  number  so  situated  as  to  be  less  capable 
of  a  prompt  and  collected  exertion  of  its  strength  ?  Nothing  can 
be  more  chimerical  thrn  to  imagine  that  in  a  trial  of  actual  force, 
victory  may  be  calculated  by  the  rules  which  prevail  in  a  census 
of  the  inhabitants,  or  which  determine  the  event  of  an  election ! 
May  it  not  happen,  in  fine,  that  the  minority  of  citizens  may 
become  a  majority  of  persons,  by  the  accession  of  alien  residents, 
of  a  casual  concourse  of  adventurers,  or  of  those  whom  the  con- 
stitution of  the  State  has  not  admitted  to  the  rights  of  suffrage  ? 
I  take  no  notice  of  an  unhappy  species  of  population  abounding  in 
some  of  the  States,  who,  during  the  calm  of  regular  government, 
are  sunk  below  the  level  of  men;  but  who,  in  the  tempestuous 
scenes  of  civil  violence,  may  emerge  into  the  human  character, 
and  give  a  superiority  of  strength  to  any  party  with  which  they 
may  associate  themselves. 

In  cases  where  it  may  be  doubtful  on  which  side  justice  lies, 
what  better  umpires  could  be  desired  by  two  violent  factions,  fly- 
ing to  arms  and  tearing  a  State  to  pieces,  than  the  representatives 
of  confederate  States  not  heated  by  the  local  flame?  To  the 
impartiality  of  judges  they  would  unite  the  affection  of  friends. 
Happy  would  it  be  if  such  a  remedy  for  its  infirmities  could  be 
enjoyed  by  all  free  governments;  if  a  project  equally  effectual 
could  be  established  for  the  universal  peace  of  mankind! 

Should  it  be  asked,  what  is  to  be  the  redress  for  an  insurrec- 
tion pervading  all  the  States,  and  comprising  a  superiority  of  the 
entire  force,  though  not  a  constitutional  right, — the  answer  must 
be  that  such  a  case,  as  it  would  be  without  the  compass  of  human 
remedies,  so  it  is  fortunately  not  within  the  compass  of  human 
probability;  and  that  it  is  a  sufficient  recommendation  of  the 
federal  Constitution,  that  it  diminishes  the  risk  of  a  calamity  for 
which  no  possible  constitution  can  provide  a  cure. 


954i 


MAURICE  MAETERLINCK 

(1864-) 

BY   WILLIAM   SHARP 

iNE  of  the  most  remarkable,  one  of  the  most  widely  known  of 
the  younger  writers  of  the  day,  Maurice  Maeterlinck,  is  still 
little  more  than  a  name  to  the  majority  of  people,  even 
among  those  who  nominally  follow  closely  every  new  expression  of 
the  contemporary  spirit.  Some,  following  the  example  of  his  ultra- 
enthusiastic  French  pioneer,  M.  Octave  Mirbeau,  have  made  for  him 
the  high  claim  of  genius;  others  have  gone 
to  the  opposite  extreme,  and  denied  his  pos- 
session of  any  qualities  save  a  morbid  fan- 
tasy in  drama,  or  of  a  mystical  intensity  in 
spiritual  philosophy. 

That  Maurice  Maeterlinck  is  in  every 
sense  of  the  word  a  most  notable  person- 
ality in  contemporary  literature  is  net  to 
be  denied;  whether  we  like  or  dislike  his 
peculiar  methods  in  the  dramatic  presenta- 
tion of  his  vision  of  life,  or  understand  or 
sympathize  with  his  uncompromising  posi- 
tion as  a  mystic  of  the  kindred  of  Sweden- 
borg,  Jakob  Boehme,  or  that  Ruysbroeck  of 
•whom  he  has  been  the  modern  interpreter. 

It  is  undeniable,  now,  that  the  great  vogue  prophesied  for  the  Maeter- 
linckian  drama  has  not  been  fulfilled.  Possibly  the  day  may  come 
when  the  Drame  Intime  may  have  a  public  following  to  justify  the 
hopes  of  those  who  believe  in  it;  but  that  time  has  not  come  yet. 
Meanwhile,  we  have  to  be  content  with  dramas  of  the  mind  enacted 
against  mental  tapestries,  so  to  say,  or  with  shifting  backgrounds 
among  the  dream  vistas  and  perspectives  of  the  mind.  For  although 
several  of  M.  Maeterlinck's  poetic  plays  have  been  set  upon  the 
stage, — rather  as  puppet  plays  than  in  the  sense  commonly  meant, — 
their  success  has  been  one  of  curiosity  rather  than  of  conviction. 
Even  the  most  impressive  has  seemed  much  less  so  when  subjected 
to  the  conditions  of  stage  representation;  and  it  is  almost  impossible 
to  understand  how  certain  of  them  could  avoid  exciting  that  sense 


MAURICE  MAETERLINCK 


9542  MAURICE   MAETERLINCK 

of  incongruity  which  is  fatal  to  a  keen  impression  of  verisimilitude. 
Even  compositions  so  decorative  as  (The  Seven  Princesses,*  or  that 
strange  drama  'The  Blind,*  are  infinitely  more  impressive  when  read 
than  when  seen;  and  this  because  they  are,  like  all  else  of  Mae- 
terlinck's, merely  the  embodiment  in  words,  and  in  a  pseudo-dramatic 
formula,  of  spiritual  allegories  or  dreams.  There  were  many  who 
thought  that  his  short  drama  <The  Intruder*  more  than  stood  the 
test  of  stage  representation.  I  have  seen  <L'Intruse)  twice,  and 
given  with  all  the  skill  and  interpretative  sympathy  possible,  both 
in  Paris  and  London;  and  yet  I  have  not  for  a  moment  found  in  its 
stage  representation  anything  to  approach  the  convincing  and  inti- 
mate appeal,  so  simple  and  yet  so  subtle  and  weird,  afforded  in  the 
perusal  of  the  original. 

We  have,  however,  no  longer  to  consider  Maurice  Maeterlinck 
merely  as  a  dramatist,  or  perhaps  I  should  say  as  a  writer  in  dra- 
matic form.  He  began  as  a  poet,  and  as  a  writer  of  a  very  strange 
piece  of  fiction;  and  now,  and  for  some  time  past,  his  work  has  been 
that  of  a  spiritual  interpreter,  of  an  essayist,  and  of  a  mystic. 

Mooris  Materlinck  —  for  it  was  not  till  he  was  of  age  that  he 
adopted  the  Gallicized  <(  Maurice  Maeterlinck  ** —  was  born  in  Flanders, 
and  is  himself  racially  as  well  as  mentally  and  spiritually  a  Fleming 
of  the  Flemings.  He  has  all  the  physical  endurance,  the  rough  bod- 
ily type,  of  his  countrymen;  but  he  has  also  their  quiet  intensity  of 
feeling,  their  sense  of  dream  and  mystery.  His  earliest  influences  in 
literature  were  French  and  English:  the  French  of  writers  such  as 
Villiers  de  L'Isle-Adam,  the  English  of  writers  such  as  Shakespeare 
and  the  Elizabethan  dramatists.  When,  as  little  more  than  a  youth, 
he  went  to  Paris,  it  was  mainly  in  the  hope  of  discipleship  to  the 
great  Villiers.  It  was  while  in  Paris  that  he  wrote  one  of  his  earliest 
and  to  this  day  one  of  his  most  remarkable  productions,  the  short 
story  entitled  <The  Massacre  of  the  Innocents,  >  —  a  study  so  remark- 
able that  it  at  once  attracted  the  attention  of  the  few  who  closely 
follow  every  new  manifestation  of  literary  talent.  In  this  strange 
tale,  Maeterlinck  has  attempted  to  depict  the  Biblical  story  after  the 
manner  of  those  Dutch  and  Flemish  painters  who  represented  with 
unflinching  contemporary  realism  all  their  scenes  based  upon  Script- 
ural episodes  —  that  is  to  say,  who  represented  every  scene,  however 
Oriental  or  remote,  in  accordance  with  Dutch  or  Flemish  customs, 
habits,  dress,  etc.  This  short  story,  however,  appeared  in  an  obscure 
and  long  since  defunct  French  periodical;  and  little  notice  was  taken 
of  it  till  some  years  later,  when  the  present  writer  drew  attention  'to 
it  as  the  first  production  of  its  by  that  time  distinguished  author. 
Since  then  it  has  been  admirably  translated,  and  has  appeared  in  an 
American  edition. 


MAURICE  MAETERLINCK 

But  the  first  actual  book  which  Maurice  Maeterlinck  published  was 
a  volume  of  poems  entitled  c  Serres  Chaudes,' —  a  title  which  we 
might  idiomatically  render  as  (  Hot-house  Blooms. }  These  poems  are 
interesting,  and  we  can  clearly  discern  in  them  the  same  mental 
outlook  and  habit  of  mind  the  author  exhibits  in  his  maturer  prose 
writings;  but  they  have  not  in  any  marked  degree  the  lyric  quality, 
as  a  poet's  work  must  have;  and  for  all  that  there  are  poetical  and 
imaginative  lines  and  verses,  they  suggest  rather  the  work  of  a  rare 
and  imaginative  mind  controlling  itself  to  expression  in  this  manner, 
than  of  one  who  yields  to  it  out  of  imperious  and  impulsive  need. 
In  some  respects  we  find  a  curious  return  to  this  first  book  in  Maeter- 
linck's later  work,  ( Le  Tresor  des  Humbles,)  for  although  it  is  a 
vohime  of  mystical  essays,  and  deals  with  other  themes  than  those 
chiefly  broached  in  (  Serres  Chaudes,'  there  is  a  remarkable  spiritual 
affinity  between  them.  It  is  impossible  to  understand  this  strange 
and  powerful  writer  if  one  does  not  approach  him  on  his  mystical 
side.  It  is  not  necessary  for  the  reader  to  follow  him  in  his  brooding 
hours  with  Ruysbroeck,  or  even  to  listen  to  what  he  has  to  say 
on  the  subject  of  Novalis  and  other  German  mystics;  but  his  subtle 
analytical  study  of  Emerson,  and  above  all,  those  spiritual  essays  of 
his  (entitled  in  English  <  The  Treasure  of  the  Humble )),  should  be 
carefully  studied.  This  last-named  book  has  shared  the  fate  of  all 
works  of  the  kind;  that  is  to  say,  it  has  been  ignored  by  the  great 
majority  of  the  reading  public,  it  has  been  sneered  at  by  an  ever  fret- 
ful and  supercilious  band  of  critics,  and  has  been  received  with  deep 
gladness  and  gratitude  by  the  few  who  welcome  with  joy  any  true 
glad  tidings  of  the  spiritual  life.  Among  these  essays,  two  should  in 
particular  be  read :  those  entitled  ( The  Deeper  Life >  and  (  The  Inner 
Beauty.'  The  last-named,  indeed,  is  really  a  quintessential  essay. 
Just  as  a  certain  monotony  of  detail  characterizes  Maeterlinck's  dra- 
mas, so  a  repetitive  diffuseness  mars  these  prose  essays  of  his. 
Beautiful  thoughts  and  phrases  are  to  be  found  throughout  the  whole 
of  <The  Treasure  of  the  Humble  >;  but  after  all,  the  essay  entitled 
( The  Inner  Beauty  >  comprises  his  whole  spiritual  philosophy.  When 
we  turn  to  Maurice  Maeterlinck  the  dramatist,  we  find  him  the 
supreme  voice  in  modern  Belgian  literature.  As  a  poet  he  is  far  sur- 
passed by  Emile  Verhaeren  —  who  is  indeed  one  of  the  finest  poets 
now  living  in  any  country;  and  as  a  writer  of  prose  he  has  many 
rivals,  and  some  who  have  a  distinction,  grace,  and  power  altogether 
beyond  what  he  has  himself  displayed.  But  as  a  dramatist  —  that  is, 
an  imaginative  artist  working  in  dramatic  form  —  he  holds  a  unique 
and  altogether  remarkable  place. 

In  one  of  his  early  poems  he  exclaims:  (<Mon  ame!  —  Oh,  mon 
ante  vraiment  trop  a  1'abri!"  —  (My  soul!  —  Oh,  truly  my  soul  dwells 


MAURICE  MAETERLINCK 

too*  much  in  the  shadow!)  And  it  is  this  dwelling  in  the  shadow 
which  is  the  dominant  characteristic  of  Maurice  Maeterlinck.  In 
(The  Princess  Maleine,'  in  ( The  Seven  Princesses,  >  in  ( Pelleas  and 
Melisande,>  in  <The  Intruder,  >  and  <  The  Blind,  >— in  one  and  all 
of  these,  to  his  latest  production,  he  hardly  ever  moves  out  of  the 
shadow  of  a  strange  and  affecting  imaginative  gloom.  He  too  might 
with  the  Spanish  writer,  Emilia  Pardo  Bazan,  exclaim :  (<  Enter  with 
me  into  the  dark  zone  of  the  human  soul ! })  It  is  rather,  with 
him,  the  twilight  zone.  He  loves  to  haunt  the  shadowy  ways  where 
night  and  day  concur, — those  shadowy  ways  wherein  human  actions 
and  thoughts  are  still  real,  but  are  invested  with  a  light  or  a  shadow 
either  strange  or  fantastic.  His  method  is  a  simple  one;  but  it  is 
that  kind  of  simplicity  which  involves  a  subtle  and  artistic  mind. 
Often  he  relies  upon  words  as  abstractions,  in  order  to  convey  the 
impression  that  is  in  his  own  mind;  and  this  accounts  for  the  bewil- 
derment which  some  of  his  characteristic  mannerisms  cause  to  many 
readers.  Where  they  see  simple  repetition,  a  vain  and  perhaps  child- 
ish monotony,  Maeterlinck  is  really  endeavoring  to  emphasize  the 
impression  he  seeks  to  convey,  by  dwelling  upon  certain  images, 
accentuating  certain  words,  evoking  certain ,  mental  melodies  or 
rhythms  full  of  a  certain  subtle  suggestion  of  their  own. 

Much  has  been  said  and  written  about  this  new  form  in  con- 
temporary dramatic  literature.  It  is  a  form  strangely  seductive,  if 
obviously  perilous.  It  has  possibly  a  remarkable  future  —  coming,  as 
it  has  done,  at  a  time  when  our  most  eager  spirits  are  solicitous  of  a 
wider  scope  in  expression,  for  a  further  opening-up  of  alluring  vis- 
tas through  the  ever  blossoming  wilderness  of  art.  It  may  well  be 
that  Maeterlinck's  chief  service  here  will  prove  rather  to  be  that  of 
a  pioneer — of  a  pioneer  who  has  directed  into  new  channels  the 
stream  which  threatened  to  stagnate  in  the  shallows  of  insincere  con- 
vention. 

Maeterlinck  was  guided  to  the  formula  with  which  his  name  has 
become  so  identified,  primarily  through  the  influence  of  his  friend 
Charles  van  Lerberghe,  the  author  of  <Les  Flaireurs.*  The  short 
dramatic  episode  entitled  <  Les  Flaireurs >  occupies  itself  with  a  single 
incident:  the  death  of  an  old  peasant  woman,  by  night,  in  a  lonely 
cottage  in  a  remote  district,  with  no  companion  save  her  girlish 
grandchild.  Almost  from  the  outset  the  reader  guesses  what  the 
nocturnal  voices  indicate.  The  ruse  of  the  dramatist  is  almost  child- 
ishly simple,  if  its  process  of  development  be  regarded  in  detail. 
The  impressiveness  lies  greatly  in  the  cumulative  effect.  A  night  of 
storm,  the  rain  lashing  at  the  windows,  the  appalling  darkness  with- 
out, the  wan  candle-glow  within,  a  terrified  and-  bewildered  child,  a 
dying  and  delirious  old  woman,  an  ominous  oft-repeated  knocking  at 


MAURICE  MAETERLINCK 


9545 


the  door,  a  hoarse  voice  without,  changeful  but  always  menacing, 
mocking  or  muttering  an  obscure  and  horrible  message:  this  inter- 
wrought,  again  and  again  represented,  austerely  tragic  by-play  —  from 
one  point  of  view,  merely  the  material  for  tragedy  —  is  a  profoundly 
impressive  work  of  art.  It*  is  perhaps  all  the  more  so  from  the  fact 
that  it  relies  to  some  extent  upon  certain  venerable  and  even  out- 
worn conventionalities.  The  midnight  hour,  storm,  mysterious  sounds, 
the  howl  of  a  dog  —  we  are  familiar  with  all  these  (<  properties. }> 
They  do  not  now  move  us.  Sheridan  Le  Fanu,  or  Fitzjames  O'Brien, 
or  R.  L.  Stevenson,  can  create  for  us  an  inward  terror  far  beyond 
the  half-simulated  creep  with  which  we  read  the  conventional  bogy- 
story.  That  Charles  van  Lerberghe  should  so  impress  us  by  the 
simplest  and  most  familiar  stage  tricks  points  to  his  genuine  artistry, 
to  his  essential  masterhood.  The  literary  conjurer  would  fain  deceive 
us  by  sleight  of  hand;  the  literary  artist  persuades  us  by  sleight  of 
mind. 

Van  Lerberghe  is  neither  romanticist  nor  realist,  as  these  vague 
and  often  identical  terms  are  understood  abroad.  He  works  realisti- 
cally in  the  sphere  of  the  imaginary.  If  it  were  not  that  his  aim,  as 
that  of  Maeterlinck,  is  to  bring  into  literature  a  new  form  of  the  drame 
intime,  with  meanwhile  the  adventitious  aid  of  nominal  stage  acces- 
sories, one  might  almost  think  that  ( Les  Flaireurs  >  was  meant  for 
stage  representation.  It  would  be  impossible,  however,  thus.  Imagine 
the  incongruity  of  the  opening  of  this  drama  with  its  subject:  — 

<(  Orchestral  music.  Funeral  march.  Roll  of  muffled  drums.  A  blast  of  a 
horn  in  the  distance.  Roll  of  drums.  A  short  psalmodic  motive  for 
the  organ.  REPEATED  KNOCKS,  HEAVY  AND  DULL.  Curtain.^ 

What  have  orchestral  music  and  rolling  of  drums,  and  a  psalmodic 
motive  for  the  organ,  to  do  with  an  old  peasant  woman  dying  in  a 
cottage  ?  For  that  stage  of  the  imagination  from  which  many  of  us 
derive  a  keener  pleasure  than  from  that  of  any  theatre,  there  is  per- 
haps nothing  incongruous  here.  The  effect  sought  to  be  produced  is 
a  psychic  one;  and  if  produced,  the  end  is  gained,  and  the  means  of 
no  moment.  It  is  only  from  this  standpoint  that  we  can  view  aright 
the  work  of  Van  Lerberghe,  Maeterlinck,  and  Auguste  Jenart.  <Les 
Flaireurs }  is  wholly  unsuitable  for  the  actual  stage, — as  unsuitable  as 
(L'Intruse,>  or  <Les  Aveugles,>  or  <Les  Sept  Princesses,'  or  <  Le  Bar- 
bare. }  Each  needs  to  be  enacted  in  the  shadow-haunted  glade  of  the 
imagination,  in  order  to  be  understood  aright.  Under  the  lime-light 
•  their  terror  becomes  folly,  their  poetry  rhetoric,  their  tragic  signifi- 
cance impotent  commonplace;  their  atmosphere  of  mystery,  the  com- 
mon air  of  the  squalidly  apparent;  their  impressiveness  a  cause  of 
mocking. 


954<5 


MAURICE   MAETERLINCK 


While  in  Maurice  Maeterlinck  we  certainly  encounter  one  of  the 
most  interesting  figures  in  contemporary  letters,  it  is  not  so  easy  to 
arrive  at  a  definite  opinion  as  to  whether  he  is  really  a  dominant 
force. 

There  are  many  who  believe  that  trie  author  of  <La  Princesse 
Maleine> — and  of  many  striking  productions  which  have  succeeded  it 
—  will  attain  to  that  high  mastery  which  makes  a  writer  a  voice  for 
all  men,  and  not  merely  an  arresting  echo  for  his  own  hour,  his  own 
time,  among  his  own  people.  Certainly  his  debut  was  significant, 
remarkable.  Yet  in  France,  where  his  reputation  was  made,  he  is 
already  looked  upon  as  a  waning  force.  Any  new  work  by  him  is 
regarded  with  interest,  with  appreciation  and  sympathy  perhaps,  but 
not  with  that  excited  anticipation  with  which  formerly  it  was  greeted. 
For  ourselves,  we  cannot  estimate  him  otherwise  than  by  his  actual 
achievement.  Has  the  author  of  (La  Princesse  Maleine,*  'L'Intruse,' 
and  < Les  Aveugles y — his  earliest  and  most  discussed  works  —  fulfilled 
himself  in  <Pelleas  et  Melisande  >  and  the  successors  of  that  mov- 
ing drama?  His  admirers  declared  that  in  this  last-named  play  we 
should  find  him  at  his  best  and  most  mature.  But  (Pelleas  and  Meli- 
sande)  has  not  stood  the  test. 

Yet  I  do  not  think  (Pelleas  et  Melisande*  is  —  what  so  many  claim 
for  it  —  Maeterlinck's  Sedan.  All  the  same  it  is,  at  best,  «a  faithful 
failure. w  I  believe  he  will  give  us  still  better  work;  work  as  dis- 
tinctive as  his  two  masterpieces,  <L'Intruse>  and  <Les  Aveugles, } 
but  with  a  wider  range  of  sympathy,  more  genial  an  insight,  an 
apprehension  and  technical  achievement  more  masterly  still.  Indeed, 
in  <Tintagiles)  and  his  latest  productions,  he  has  to  a  large  extent 
fulfilled  the  wonderful  imaginative  beauty  with  which  he  charmed 
us  in  (  Les  Sept  Princesses. }  Still,  even  here  it  is  rather  the  dream- 
record  of  a  dreamer  than  the  actual  outlook  on  life  of  a  creative 
mind. 

Finally,  what  we  have  to  bear  in  mind  meanwhile  is  that  Maurice 
Maeterlinck  is  possibly  the  pioneer  of  a  new  method  coming  into 
literature.  We  must  not  look  too  closely,  whether  in  praise  or  blame, 
to  those  treasured  formulas  of  his,  of  which  so  much  has  been  said. 
What  is  inessential  in  these  he  will  doubtless  unlearn;  what  is  essen- 
tial he  will  probably  develop.  For  it  is  not  in  the  accidents  of  his 
dramatic  expression  that  so  fine  an  artist  as  Maeterlinck  is  an  origi- 
nal writer,  but  in  that  quality  of  insight  which  is  his  own,  that  phras- 
ing, that  atmosphere. 


CjUcCu.^ 


MAURICE    MAETERLINCK  9546  a 

EDITORIAL  NOTE.  —  As  William  Sharp's  death  excluded  the  possi- 
bility of  the  revision  of  the  foregoing  article  by  his  own  hand,  it  seemed 
best  to  the  Editors  to  leave  it  untouched,  for  it  is  an  admirable  presen- 
tation of  Maeterlinck's  work  up  to  the  time  that  it  was  written.  Sharp's 
distrust  of  the  permanent  success  of  the  mystical  dramas,  expressed 
with-  so  much  sympathy  and  insight,  was  later  confirmed  by  the  drama- 
tist himself.  Indeed  Maeterlinck  confounded  some  of  his  more  en- 
thusiastic disciples  by  speaking  in  tones  of  decided  depreciation  of 
these  earlier  plays,  and  his  dramatic  work  took  an  entirely  new  turn. 
The  change  has  been  ascribed  to  his  desire  to  write  a  play  suited  to  the 
talent  of  the  charming  and  gifted  actress,  Georgette  Leblanc,  whom 
he  married  in  1901,  but  it  should  doubtless  be  attributed  to  more 
profound  developments  in  his  artistic  and  intellectual  life.  However 
this  may  be,  it  is  certain  that  ( Mona  Vanna)  (1902)  offered  a  complete 
contrast  to  his  earlier  dramatic  work;  instead  of  the  vague  background 
of  legendary  northern  forests,  we  have  a  definite  scene  —  Pisa  at  the 
end  of  the  fifteenth  century,  —  and  instead  of  the  drame  intime  of 
humble  souls  or  mystic  princesses,  we  have  the  stirring  incidents  of  a 
siege  and  the  clash  of  contending  politicians.  All  this,  it  is  true,  is 
interwoven  with  the  spiritual  struggles  that  take  place  in  the  hearts  of 
Mona  Vanna,  her  husband,  and  her  lover,  but  the  drama  in  its  tone 
and  atmosphere  is  much  closer  to  Browning's  (Luria,)  to  which  it  was 
obviously  indebted,  than  to  anything  its  author  had  done  before.  As 
a  historical  melodrama  it  was  made  effective  enough  on  the  American 
stage  by  a  talented  emotional  actress  of  the  day,  but  it  was  necessary 
for  the  critics  to  point  out  its  spiritual  significance,  which  was  pre- 
sumably the  dramatist's  chief  aim,  but  which  somehow  disappeared 
in  the  representation.  » 

Maeterlinck  was  hardly  more  successful  in  dealing  with  a  subject 
from  Christian  tradition,  in  (Sister  Beatrice)  (1901)  or  from  Arthurian 
legend  in  (Joyzelle)  (1903),  but  in  (The  Blue  Bird)  (1908)  he  at  last 
found  material  exactly  suited  for  dramatic  treatment  by  him  from  the 
point  of  view  at  which  he  had  now  arrived  —  that  of  the  agnostic 
mystic  —  who  accepts  the  facts  of  science,  but  sees  beyond  them  a 
vast  field  for  poetic  imagination.  First  acted  in  Moscow,  (The  Blue 
Bird)  made  its  triumphant  way  all  over  Europe  and  across  the  Atlantic; 
it  is  still  perhaps  the  most  popular  of  fairy  plays,  both  with  children, 
who  are  delighted  by  its  romantic  treatment  of  matters  of  everyday 
experience,  and  by  adult  critics,  who  find  in  it  suggestions  of  deep 
spiritual  significance. 

Before  (The  Blue  Bird)  achieved  its  world  wide  dramatic  success 
Maeterlinck  had  firmly  established  his  reputation  as  a  writer  of  prose 
in  (La  Vie  des  Abeilles)  (The  Life  of  the  Bee,  1901).  It  was  not  that 
like  Fabre  he  discovered  new  facts,  but  he  gave  to  what  was  already 
known  a  romantic  charm  due  to  an  imaginative  insight  and  a  peculiarly 


9546b  MAURICE     MAETERLINCK 

attractive  style,  of  which  the  following  description  of  the  queen  bee's 
nuptial  flight  may  serve  as  an  example: 

((She  starts  her  flight  backwards;  returns  twice  or  thrice  to  the  alighting-board; 
and  then,  having  definitely  fixed  in  her  mind  the  exact  situation  and  aspect  of  the 
kingdom  she  has  never  yet  seen  from  without,  she  departs  like  an  arrow  to  the 
zenith  of  the  blue.  She  soars  to  a  height,  a  luminous  zone,  that  other  bees  attain 
at  no  period  of  their  life.  Far  away,  caressing  their  idleness  in  the  midst  of  the 
flowers,  the  males  have  beheld  the  apparition,  have  breathed  the  magnetic  perfume 
that  spreads  from  group  to  group  till  every  apiary  near  is  instinct  with  it.  Immedi- 
ately crowds  collect,  and  follow  her  into  the  sea  of  gladness,  whose  limpid  boundaries 
ever  recede.  She,  drunk  with  her  wings,  obeying  the  magnificent  law  of  the  race 
that  chooses  jier  lover,  and  enacts  that  the  strongest  alone  shall  attain  her  in  the 
solitude  of  the  ether,  she  rises  still;  and,  for  the  first  time  in  her  life,  the  blue  morning 
air  rushes  into  her  stigmata,  singing  its  song,  like  the  blood  of  heaven,  in  the  myriad 
tubes  of  the  tracheal  sacs,  nourished  on  space,  that  fill  the  centre  of  her  body.  She 
rises  still.  A  region  must  be  found  unhaunted  by  birds,  that  else  might  profane  the 
mystery.  She  rises  still;  and  already  the  ill-assorted  troop  below  are  dwindling  and 
falling  asunder.  The  feeble,  infirm,  the  aged,  unwelcome,  ill-fed,  who  have  flown 
from  inactive  or  impoverished  cities,  these  renounce  the  pursuit  and  disappear  in 
the  void.  Only  a  small,  indefatigable  cluster  remain,  suspended  in  infinite  opal. 
She  summons  her  wings  for  one  final  effort;  and  now  the  chosen  of  incomprehensible 
forces  has  reached  her,  has  seized  her,  and  bounding  aloft  with  united  impetus,  the 
ascending  spiral  of  their  intertwined  flight  whirls  for  one  second  in  the  hostile  madness 
of  love.)) 

Maeterlinck's  genius  next  sought  an  outlet  in  discussions  of  psychical 
phenomena,  more  especially  in  connection  with  the  problem  of  the 
immortality  of  the  soul.  His  essays  on  the  subject  have  his  unfailing 
charm  of  style,  but  are  less  readable  on  account  of  the  uncongenial 
material  he  has  undertaken  to  handle.  His  philosophic  discussions  of 
the  general  problem  of  immortality  are  marked  by  scientific  reserve, 
curiously  combined  with  the  native  cheerfulness  which  goes  with  his 
Flemish  temperament  and  robust  physique.  He  cannot  be  said  to  have 
added  anything  to  our  knowledge  of  life  beyond  the  grave,  but  he  writes 
about  it  sympathetically  and  courageously. 

The  outbreak  of  the  war  interrupted  Maeterlinck's  literary  and 
philosophic  interest.  Although  he  had  long  resided  at  the  beautiful 
Abbey  of  Ste.  Wandrille  in  France  he  remained  thoroughly  Belgian  at 
heart,  and  he  plunged  with  all  the  ardor  of  his  passionate  temperament 
and  the  eloquence  of  his  moving  style  into  protests  and  pleas  on  behalf 
of  his  unhappy  compatriots.  These  belong  perhaps  rather  to  history 
than  to  literature,  but  the  unsparing  devotion  with  which  Maeter- 
linck gave  himself  to  the  cause  of  his  unfortunate  country  cannot  but 
command  our  admiration. 


MAURICE   MAETERLINCK 


FROM   <THE   DEATH   OF  TINTAGILES> 


9547 


The    Plays    of  Maurice   Maeterlinck,    Second    Series.      Translated   by   Richard 
Hovey.     Copyright  1896,  by  Stone  &  Kimball. 

Scene:   At  the  top  of  a  hill  overlooking  the  castle.     Enter  Ygraine,  holding 
Tintagiles  by  the  hand. 

YGRAINE  —  Thy  first  night  will  be  troubled,  Tintagiles.  Already 
the  sea  howls  about  us;  and  the  trees  are  moaning.  It  is 
late.  The  moon  is  just  setting  behind  the  poplars  that  stifle 
the  palace.  We  are  alone,  perhaps,  for  all  that  here  we  have  to 
live  on  guard.  There  seems  to  be  a  watch  set  for  the  approach 
of  the  slightest  happiness.  I  said  to  myself  one  day,  in  the  very 
depths  of  my  soul, —  and  God  himself  could  hardly  hear  it, —  I 
said  to  myself  one  day  I  should  be  happy.  There  needed  noth- 
ing further:  in  a  little  while  our  old  father  died,  and  both  our 
brothers  vanished  without  a  single  human  being  able  since  to  tell 
us  where  they  are.  Now  I  am  all  alone,  with  my  poor  sister  and 
thee,  my  little  Tintagiles;  and  I  have  no  faith  in  the  future. 
Come  here;  sit  on  my  knee.  Kiss  me  first:  and  put  thy  little 
arms  there,  all  the  way  around  my  neck;  perhaps  they  will  not 
be  able  to  undo  them.  Rememberest  thou  the  time  when  it  was 
I  that  carried  thee  at  night  when  bedtime  came;  and  when  thou 
fearedst  the  shadows  of  my  lamp  in  the  long  windowless  corri- 
dors ? —  I  felt  my  soul  tremble  upon  my  lips  when  I  saw  thee, 
suddenly,  this  morning.  I  thought  thee  so  far  away,  and  so 
secure.  Who  was  it  made  thee  come  here  ? 

Tintagiles  —  I  do  not  know,  little  sister. 

Ygraine  —  Thou  dost  not  know  any  longer  what  was  said  ? 

Tintagiles  —  They  said  I  had  to  leave. 

Ygraine  —  But  why  hadst  thou  to  leave? 

Tintagiles  —  Because  it  was  the  Queen's  will. 

Ygraine  —  They  did  not  say  why  it  was  her  will?  —  I  am  sure 
they  said  many  things. 

Tintagiles — I  heard  nothing,  little  sister. 

Ygraine  —  When  they  spoke  among  themselves,  what  did  they 
say  ? 

Tintagiles  —  They  spoke  in  a  low  voice,  little  sister. 

Ygraine  —  All  the  time? 

Tintagiles  —  All  the  time,  sister  Ygraine;  except  when  they 
looked  at  me. 

Ygraine — They  did  not  speak  of  the  Queen? 


9548 


MAURICE  MAETERLINCK 


Tintagiles — They  said  she  was  never  seen,  sister  Ygraine. 

Ygraine — And  those  who  were  with  thee,  on  the  bridge  of 
the  ship,  said  nothing? 

Tintagiles  —  They  minded  nothing  but  the  wind  and  the  sails, 
sister  Ygraine. 

Ygraine — Ah!   that  does  not  astonish  me,  my  child. 

Tintagiles — They  left  me  all  alone,  little  sister. 

Ygraine — Listen,  Tintagiles,  I  will  tell  thee  what  I  know. 

Tintagiles  —  What  dost  thou  know,  sister  Ygraine? 

Ygraine  —  Not  much,  my  child.  My  sister  and  I  have  crept 
along  here,  since  our  birth,  without  daring  to  understand  a  whit 
of  all  that  happens.  For  a  long  while,  indeed,  I  lived  like  a  blind 
woman  on  this  island;  and  it  all  seemed  natural  to  me.  I  saw 
no  other  events  than  the  flying  of  a  bird,  the  trembling  of  a  leaf, 
the  opening  of  a  rose.  There  reigned  such  a  silence  that  the 
falling  of  a  ripe  fruit  in  the  park  called  faces  to  the  windows. 
And  no  one  seemed  to  have  the  least  suspicion;  but  one  night 
I  learned  there  must  be  something  else.  I  would  have  fled,  and 
could  not.  Hast  thou  understood  what  I  have  said  ? 

Tintagiles  —  Yes,  yes,  little  sister:  I  understand  whatever  you 
will. 

Ygraine — Well,  then,  let  us  speak  no  more  of  things  that  are 
not  known.  Thou  seest  yonder,  behind  the  dead  trees  that  poison 
the  horizon  —  thou  seest  the  castle  yonder,  in  the  depth  of  the 
valley  ? 

Tintagiles — That  which  is  so  black,  sister  Ygraine? 

Ygraine  —  It  is  black  indeed.  It  is  at  the  very  depth  of  an 
amphitheatre  of  shadows.  We  have  to  live  there.  It  might  have 
been  built  on  the  summit  of  the  great  mountains  that  surround 
it.  The  mountains  are  blue  all  day.  We  should  have  breathed. 
We  should  have  seen  the  sea  and  the  meadows  on  the  other  side 
of  the*  rocks.  But  they  preferred  to  put  it  in  the  depth  of  the 
valley;  and  the  very  air  does  not  go  down  .so  low.  It  is  falling 
in  ruins,  and  nobody  bewares.  The  walls  are  cracking;  you 
would  say  it  was  dissolving  in  the  shadows.  There  is  only  one 
tower  unassailed  by  the  weather.  It  is  enormous;  and  the  house 
never  comes  out  of  its  shadow. 

Tintagiles  —  There  is  something  shining,  sister  Ygraine.  See, 
see,  the  great  red  windows! 

Ygraine — They  are  those  of  the  tower,  Tintagiles:  they  are 
the  only  ones  where  you  will  see  light;  it  is  there  the  throne  of 
the  Queen  is  set. 


MAURICE   MAETERLINCK 


9549 


Tintagiles — I  shall  not  see  the  Queen? 

Ygraine — No  one  can  see  her. 

Tintagiles — Why  can't  one  see  her? 

Ygraine  —  Come  nearer,  Tintagiles.  Not  a  bird  nor  a  blade  of 
grass  must  hear  us. 

Tintagiles  —  There  is  no  grass,  little  sister.  [A  silence.']  — 
What  does  the  Queen  do  ? 

Ygraine — No  one  knows,  my  child.  She  does  not  show  her- 
self. She  lives  there,  all  alone  in  her  tower;  and  they  that  serve 
her  do  not  go  out  by  day.  She  is  very  old;  she  is  the  mother 
of  our  mother;  and  she  would  reign  alone.  She  is  jealous  and 
.suspicious,  and  they  say  that  she  is  mad.  She  fears  lest  some  one 
rise  into  her  place,  and  it  was  doubtless  because  of  that  fear  that 
she  had  thee  brought  hither.  Her  orders  are  carried  out  no  one 
knows  how.  She  never  comes  down;  and  all  the  doors  of  the 
tower  are  closed  night  and  day.  I  aever  caught  a  glimpse  of 
her;  but  others  have  seen  her,  it  seems,  in  the  past,  when  she 
was  young. 

Tintagiles  —  Is  she  very  ugly,  sister  Ygraine? 

Ygraine  —  They  say  she  is  not  beautiful,  and  that  she  is  grow- 
ing huge.  But  they  that  have  seen  her  dare  never  speak  of  it. 
Who  knows,  indeed,  if  they  have  seen  her?  She  has  a  power  not 
to  be  understood ;  and  we  live  here  with  a  great  unpitying  weight 
upon  our  souls.  Thou  must  not  be  frightened  beyond  measure, 
nor  have  bad  dreams;  we  shall  watch  over  thee,  my  little  Tinta- 
giles, and  no  evil  will  be  able  to  reach  thee:  but  do  not  go  far 
from  me,  your  sister  Bellangere,  nor  our  old  master  Aglovale. 

Tintagiles  —  Not  from  Aglovale  either,  sister  Ygraine? 

Ygraine  —  Not  from  Aglovale  either.     He  loves  us. 

Tintagiles — He  is  so  old,  little  sister! 

Ygraine — He  is  old,  but  very  wise.  He  is  the  only  friend 
we  have  left;  and  he  knows  many  things.  It  is  strange;  she  has 
made  thee  come  hither  without  letting  any  one  know.  I  do  not 
know  what  there  is  in  my  heart.  I  was  sorry  and  glad  to  know 
thou  wert  so  far  away,  beyond  the  sea.  And  now  —  I  was  aston- 
ished. I  went  out  this  morning  to  see  if  the  sun  was  rising  over 
the  mountains;  and  it  is  thou  I  see  upon  the  threshold.  I  knew 
thee  at  once. 

Tintagiles  — No,  no,  little  sister:  it  was  I  that  laughed  first. 

Ygraine — I  could  not  laugh  at  once.  Thou  wilt  understand. 
It  is  time,  Tintagiles,  and  the  wind  is  growing  black  upon  the 


9550  MAURICE  MAETERLINCK 

sea.  Kiss  me  harder,  again,  again,  before  thou  standest  upright. 
Thou  knowest  not  how  we  love.  Give  me  thy  little  hand.  I 
shall  guard  it  well;  and  we  will  go  back  into  the  sickening  castle. 

\Exeunt. 

Scene:   An   apartment  in   the   castle.      Agio  vale    and  Ygraine    discovered. 
Enter  Bellangere. 

Be  Hanger  e — Where  is  Tintagiles  ? 

Ygraine — Here;  do  not  speak  too  loud.  He  sleeps  in  the 
other  room.  He  seems  a  little  pale,  a  little  ailing  too.  He  was 
tired  by  the  journey  and  the  long  sea-voyage.  Or  else  the  atmo-, 
sphere  of  the  castle  has  startled  his  little  soul.  He  cried  for  no 
cause.  I  rocked  him  to  sleep  on  my  knees;  come,  see.  He  sleeps 
in  our  bed.  He  sleeps  very  gravely,  with  one  hand  on  his  fore- 
head, like  a  little  sad  king. 

Bellangere  [bursting  suddenly  into  tears\  —  My  sister !  my  sis- 
ter !  my  poor  sister ! 

Ygraine  —  What  is  the  matter? 

Bellangere — I  dare  not  say  what  I  know,  and  I  am  not  sure 
that  I  know  anything,  and  yet  I  heard  that  which  one  could  not 
hear  — 

Ygraine  —  What  didst  thou  hear? 

Bellangere  —  I  was  passing  near  the  corridors  of  the  tower  — 

Ygraine  —  Ah ! 

Bellangere  —  A  door  there  was  ajar.  I  pushed  it  very  softly. 
I  went  in. 

Ygraine  —  In  where  ? 

Bellangere — I  had  never  seen  the  place.  There  were  other 
corridors  lighted  with  lamps;  then  low  galleries  that  had  no  out- 
let. I  knew  it  was  forbidden  to  go  on.  I  was  afraid,  and  I  was 
going  to  return  upon  my  steps,  when  I  heard  a  sound  of  voices 
one  could  hardly  hear. 

Ygraine — It  must  have  been  the  handmaids  of  the  Queen: 
they  dwell  at  the  foot  of  the  tower. 

Bellangere  —  I  do  not  know  just  what  it  was.  There  must 
have  been  more  than  one  door  between  us;  and  the  voices  came 
to  me  like  the  voice  of  some  one  who  was  being  smothered.  I 
drew  as  near  as  I  could.  I  am  not  sure  of  anything,  but  I  think 
they  spoke  of  a  child  that  came  t;o-day  and  of  a  crown  of  gold. 
They  seemed  to  be  laughing. 


MAURICE' MAETERLINCK 

Ygraine  —  They  laughed  > 

Bellangere — Yes,  I  think  they  laughed,  unless  they  were 
weeping,  or  unless  it  was  something  I  did  not  understand;  for  it 
was  hard  to  hear,  and  their  voices  were  sweet.  They  seemed  to 
echo  in  a  crowd  under  the  arches.  They  spoke  of  the  child  the 
Queen  would  see.  They  will  probably  come  up  this  evening. 

Ygraine  —  What  ?   this  evening? 

Bellangere  —  Yes,  yes,  I  think  so. 

Ygraine  —  They  spoke  no  one's  name? 

Bellangere  —  They 'spoke  of  a  child,  of  a  very  little  child. 

Ygraine — There  is  no  other  child. 

Bellangere  —  They  raised  their  voices  a  little  at  that  moment, 
because  one  of  them  had  said  the  day  seemed  not  yet  come. 

Ygraine — I  know  what  that  means;  it  is  not  the  first  time 
they  have  issued  from  the  tower.  I  knew  well  why  she  made 
him  come ;  but  I  could  not  believe  she  would  hasten  so !  We 
shall  see;  we  are  three,  and  we  have  time. 

Bellangere  —  What  wilt  thou  do  ? 

Ygraine — I  do  not  know  yet  what  I  shall  do,  but  I  will  aston- 
ish her.  Do  you  know  how  you  tremble  ?  I  will  tell  you  — 

Bellangere  —  What  ? 

Ygraine — She  shall  not  take  him  without  trouble. 

Bellangere  —  We  are  alone,  sister  Ygraine. 

Ygraine  —  Ah!  it  is  true,  we  are  alone!  There  is  but  one 
remedy,  the  one  with  which  we  have  always  succeeded!  Let  us 
wait  upon  our  knees  as  the  other  times.  Perhaps  she  will  have 
pity!  She  allows  herself  to  be  disarmed  by  tears.  We  must 
grant  her  all  she  asks  us;  haply  she  will  smile;  and  she  is  wont 
to  spare  all  those  who  kneel.  She  has  been  there  for  years  in 
her  huge  tower,  devouring  our  beloved,  and  none,  not  one,  has 
dared  to  strike  her  in  •  the  face.  She  is  there,  upon  our  souls, 
like  the  stone  of  a  tomb,  and  no  one  dare  put  forth  his  arm.  In 
the  time  when  there  were  men  here,  they  feared  too,  and  fell 
upon  their  faces.  To-day  it  is  the  woman's  turn:  we  shall  see. 
It  is  time  to  rise  at  last.  We  know  not  upon  what  her  power 
rests,  and  I  will  live  no  longer  in  the  shadow  of  her  tower.  Go  — 
go,  both  of  you,  and  leave  me  more  alone  still,  if  you  tremble 
too.  I  shall  await  her. 

Bellangere — Sister,  I  do  not  know  what  must  be  done;  but  I 
stay  with  thee. 


MAURICE  MAETERLINCK 

Aglovale  —  I  too  stay,  my  daughter.  For  a  long-  time  my  soul 
has  been  restless.  You  are  going  to  try.  We  have  tried  more 
than  once. 

Ygraine  —  You  have  tried  —  you  too? 

Aglovale  —  They  have  all  tried.  But  at  the  last  moment  they 
have  lost  their  strength.  You  will  see,  you  too.  Should  she  order 
me  to  come  up  to  her  this  very  night,  I  should  clasp  both  my 
hands  without  a  word;  and  my  tired  feet  would  climb  the  stair, 
without  delay  and  without  haste,  well  as  I  know  no  one  comes 
down  again  with  open  eyes.  I  have  no  more  courage  against 
her.  Our  hands  are  of  no  use  and  reach  no  one.  They  are  not 
the  hands  we  need,  and  all  is  useless.  But  I  would  help  you, 
because  you  hope.  Shut  the  doors,  my  child.  Wake  Tintagiles; 
encircle  him  with  your  little  naked  arms  and  take  him  on  your 
knees.  We  have  no  other  defense. 


THE   INNER   BEAUTY 
From  <The  Treasure  of  the  Humble  > 

THERE  is  nothing  in  the  whole  world  that  can  vie  with  the 
soul  in  its  eagerness  for  beauty,  or  in  the  ready  power 
wherewith  it  adopts  beauty  unto  itself.  There  is  nothing 
in  the  world  capable  of  such  spontaneous  uplifting,  of  such 
speedy  ennoblement;  nothing  that  offers  more  scrupulous  obedi- 
ence to  the  pure  and  noble  commands  it  receives.  There  is 
nothing  in  the  world  that  yields  deeper  submission  to  the  empire 
of  a  thought  that  is  loftier  than  other  thoughts.  And  on  this 
earth  of  ours  there  are  but  few  souls  that  can  withstand  the 
dominion  of  the  soul  that  has  suffered  itself  to  become  beautiful. 
In  all  truth  might  it  be  said  that  beauty  is  the  unique  ali- 
ment of  our  soul;  for  in  all  places  does  it  search  for  beauty,  and 
it  perishes  not  of  hunger  even  in  the  most  degraded  of  .lives. 
For  indeed  nothing  of  beauty  can  pass  by  and  be  altogether 
unperceived.  Perhaps  does  it  never  pass  by  save  only  in  our 
unconsciousness:  but  its  action  is  no  less  puissant  in  gloom  of 
night  than  by  light  of  day;  the  joy  it  procures  may  be  less  tan- 
gible, but  other  difference  there  is  none.  Look  at  the  most  ordi- 
nary of  men,  at  a  time  when  a  little  beauty  has  contrived  to 
steal  into  their  darkness.  They  have  come  together,  it  matters 


MAURICE  MAETERLINCK 

not  where,  and  for  no  special  reason;  but  no  sooner  are  they 
assembled  than  their  very  first  thought  would  seem  to  be  to 
close  the  great  doors  of  life.  Yet  has  each  one  of  them,  when 
alone,  more  than  once  lived  in  accord  with  his  soul.  He  has 
loved  perhaps,  of  a  surety  he  has  suffered.  Inevitably  must  he 
too  have  heard  the  (<  sounds  that  come  from  the  distant  country 
of  Splendor  and  Terror }>  ;  and  many  an  evening  has  he  bowed 
down  in  silence  before  laws  that  are  deeper  than  the  sea.  And 
yet  when  these  men  are  assembled,  it  is  with  the  basest  of 
things  that  they  love  to  debauch  themselves.  They  have  a  strange 
indescribable  fear  of  beauty;  and  as  their  number  increases,  so 
does  this  fear  become  greater,  resembling  indeed  their  dread  of 
silence  or  of  a  verity  that  is  too  pure.  And  so  true  is  this,  that 
were  one  of  them  to  have  done  something  heroic  in  the  course 
of  the  day,  he  would  ascribe  wretched  motives  to  his  conduct, 
thereby  endeavoring  to  find  excuses  for  it,  and  these  motives 
would  lie  readily  to  his  hand  in  that  lower  region  where  he  and 
his  fellows  were  assembled.  And  yet  listen:  a  proud  and  lofty 
word  has  been  spoken,  a  word  that  has  in  a  measure  undammed 
the  springs  of  life.  For  one  instant  has  a  soul  dared  to  reveal 
itself,  even  such  as  it  is  in  love  and  sorrow,  such  as  it  is  in  face 
of  death  and  in  the  solitude  that  dwells  around  the  stars  of 
night.  Disquiet  prevails;  on  some  faces  there  is  astonishment, 
others  smile.  But  have  you  never  felt  at  moments  such  as  those 
how  unanimous  is  the  fervor  wherewith  every  soul  admires, 
and  how  unspeakably  even  the  very  feeblest,  from  the  remotest 
depths  of  its  dungeon,  approves  the  word  it  has  recognized  as 
akin  to  itself  ?  For  they  have  all  suddenly  sprung  to  life  again  in 
the  primitive  and  normal  atmosphere  that  is  their  own ;  and  could 
you  but  hearken  with  angels'  ears,  I  doubt  not  but  you  would 
hear  mightiest  applause  in  that  kingdom  of  amazing  radiance 
wherein  the  souls  do  dwell.  Do  you  not  think  that  even  the 
most  timid  of  them  would  take  courage  unto  themselves  were 
but  similar  words  to  be  spoken  every  evening  ?  Do  you  not 
think  that  men  would  live  purer  lives  ?  And  yet  though  the 
word  come  not  again,  still  will  something  momentous  have  hap- 
pened, that  must  leave  still  more  momentous  trace  behind. 
Every  evening  will  its  sisters  recognize  the  soul  that  pronounced 
the  word;  and  henceforth,  be  the  conversation  never  so  trivial, 
its  mere  presence  will,  I  know  not  how,  add  thereto  something  of 
majesty.  Whatever  else  betide,  there  has  been  a  change  that  we 


MAURICE   MAETERLINCK 

cannot  determine.  No  longer  will  such  absolute  power  be  vested 
in  the  baser  side  of  things,  and  henceforth  even  the  most  terror- 
stricken  of  souls  will  know  that  there  is  somewhere  a  place  of 
refuge. 

Certain  it  is  that  the  natural  and  primitive  relationship  of 
soul  to  soul  is  a  relationship  of  beauty.  For  beauty  is  the  only 
language  of  our  soul;  none  other  is  known  to  it.  It  has  no  other 
life,  it  can  produce  nothing  else,  in  nothing  else  can  it  take  in- 
terest. And  therefore  it  is  that  the  most  oppressed,  nay,  the 
most  degraded  of  souls, — if  it  may  truly  be  said  that  a  soul  can 
be  degraded, — immediately  hail  with  acclamation  every  thought, 
every  word  or  deed,  that  is  great  and  beautiful.  Beauty  is  the 
only  element  wherewith  the  soul  is  organically  connected,  and  it 
has  no  other  standard  or  judgment.  This  is  brought  home  to  us 
at  every  moment  of  our  life,  and  is  no  less  evident  to  the  man  by 
whom  beauty  may  more  than  once  have  been  denied,  than  to  him 
who  is  ever  seeking  it  in  his  heart.  Should  a  day  come  when 
you  stand  in  profoundest  need  of  another's  sympathy,  would  you 
go  to  him  who  was  wont  to  greet  the  .passage  of  beauty  with  a 
sneering  smile  ?  Would  you  go  to  him  whose  shake  of  the  head 
had  sullied  a  generous  action  or  a  mere  impulse  that  was  pure  ? 
Even  though  perhaps  you  had  been  of  those  who  commended  him, 
you  would  none  the  less,  when  it  was  truth  that  knocked  at  your 
door,  turn  to  the  man  who  had  known  how  to  prostrate  himself 
and  love.  In  its  very  depths  had  your  soul  passed  its  judgment; 
and  it  is  this  silent  and  unerring  judgment  that  will  rise  to  the 
surface,  after  thirty  years  perhaps,  and  send  you  towards  a  sister 
who  shall  be  more  truly  you  than  you  are  yourself,  for  that  she 
has  been  nearer  to  beauty. 

There  needs  but  so  little  to  encourage  beauty  in  our  soul;  so 
little  to  awaken  the  slumbering  angels;  or  perhaps  is  there  no 
need  of  awakening, — it  is  enough  that  we  lull  them  not  to  sleep. 
It  requires  more  effort  to  fall,  perhaps,  than  to  rise.  Can  we, 
without  putting  constraint  upon  ourselves,  confine  our  thoughts 
to  every-day  things  at  times  when  the  sea  stretches  before  us  and 
we  are  face  to  face  with  the  night  ?  And  what  soul  is  there  but 
knows  that  it  is  ever  confronting  the  sea,  ever  in  presence  of  an 
eternal  night  ?  Did  we  but  dread  beauty  less,  it  would  come 
about  that  naught  else  in  life  would  be  visible;  for  in  reality  it 
is  beauty  that  underlies  everything,  it  is  beauty  alone  that  exists. 
There  is  no  soul  but  is  conscious  of  this;  none  that  is  not  in 


MAURICE   MAETERLINCK 


9555 


readiness;  but  where  are  those  that  hide  not  their  beauty?  And 
yet  must  one  of  them  (<  begin."  Why  not  dare  to  be  the  one  to 
(<  begin }>  ?  The  others  are  all  watching  eagerly  around  us  like 
little  children  in  front  of  a  marvelous  palace..  They  press  upon 
the  threshold,  whispering  to  each  other  and  peering  through 
every  crevice;  but  there  is  not  one  who  dares  put  his  shoulder 
to  the  door.  They  are  all  waiting  for  some  grown-up  person 
to  come  and  fling  it  open.  But  hardly  ever  does  such  a  one 
pass  by. 

And  yet  what  is  needed  to  become  the  grown-up  person  for 
whom  they  lie  in  wait  ?  So  little !  The  soul  is  not  exacting.  A 
thought  that  is  almost  beautiful  —  a  thought  that  you  speak  not, 
but  that  you  cherish  within  you  at  this  moment  —  will  irradiate 
you  as  though  you  were  a  transparent  vase.  They  will  see  it, 
and  their  greeting  to  you  will  be  very  different  than  had  you 
been  meditating  how  best  to  deceive  your  brother.  We  are  sur- 
prised when  certain  men  tell  us  that  they  have  never  come 
across  real  ugliness,  that  they  cannot  conceive  that  a  soul  can  be 
base.  Yet  need  there  be  no  cause  for  surprise.  These  men  had 
"begun."  They  themselves  had  been  the  first  to  be  beautiful, 
and  had  therefore  attracted  all  the  beauty  that  passed  by,  as  a 
light-house  attracts  the  vessels  from  the  four  corners  of  the  hori- 
zon. Some  there  are  who  complain  of  women,  lor  instance; 
never  dreaming  that  the  first  time  a  man  meets  a  woman,  a  sin- 
gle word  or  thought  that  denies  tfce  beautiful  or  profound  will 
be  enough  to  poison  forever  his  existence  in  her  soul.  (<  For  my 
part, )}  said  a  sage  to  me  one  day,  <(  I  have  never  come  across 
a  single  woman  who  did  not  bring  to  me  something  that  was 
great. }>  He  was  great  himself  first  of  all;  therein  lay  his  secret. 
There  is  one  thing  only  that  the  soul  can  never  forgive:  it  is  to 
have  been  compelled  to  behold,  or  share,  or  pass  close  to  an  ugly 
action,  word,  or  thought.  It  cannot  forgive,  for  forgiveness  here 
were  but  the  denial  of  itself.  And  yet  with  the  generality  of 
men,  ingenuity,  strength,  and  skill  do  but  imply  that  the  soul 
must  first  of  all  be  banished  from  their  life,  and  that  every  im- 
pulse that  lies  too  deep  must  be  carefully  brushed  aside.  Even 
in  love  do  they  act  thus;  and  therefore  it  is  that  the  woman, 
who  is  so  much  nearer  the  truth,  can  scarcely  ever  live  a  mo- 
ment of  the  true  life  with  them.  It  is  as  though  men  dreaded 
the  contact  of  their  soul,  and  were  anxious  to  keep  its  beauty 
at  immeasurable  distance.  Whereas,  on  the  contrary,  we  should 


9556 


MAURICE   MAETERLINCK 


endeavor  to  move  in  advance  of  ourselves.  If  at  this  moment 
you  think  or  say  something  that  is  too  beautiful  to  be  true  in 
you — if  you  have  but  endeavored  to  think  or  say  it  to-day,  on 
the  morrow  it  will  be  true.  We  must  try  to  be  more  beautiful 
than  ourselves;  we  shall  never  distance  our  soul.  We  can  never 
err  when  it  is  question  of  silent  or  hidden  beauty.  Besides, 
so  long-  as  the  spring  within  us  be  limpid,  it  matters  but  little 
whether  error  there  be  or  not.  But  do  any  of  us  ever  dream 
of  making  the  slightest  unseen  effort?  And  yet  in  the  domain 
where  we  are,  everything  is  effective;  for  that,  everything  is 
waiting.  All  the  doors  are  unlocked;  we  have  but  to  push  them 
open,  and  the  palace  is  full  of  manacled  queens.  A  single  word 
will  very  often  suffice  to  clear  the  mountain  of  refuse.  Why  not 
have  the  courage  to  meet  a  base  question  with  a  noble  answer  ? 
Do  you  imagine  it  would  pass  quite  unnoticed,  or  merely  arouse 
surprise  ?  Do  you  not  think  it  would  be  more  akin  to  the  dis- 
course that  would  naturally  be  held  between  two  souls  ?  We 
know  not  where  it  may  give  encouragement,  where  freedom. 
Even  he  who  rejects  your  words  will  in  spite  of  himself  have 
taken  a  step  towards  the  beauty  that  is  within  him.  Nothing  of 
beauty  dies  without  having  purified  something,  nor  can  aught  of 
beauty  be  lost.  Let  us  not  be  afraid  of  sowing  it  along  the 
road.  It  may  remain  there  for  weeks  or  years:  but  like  the  dia- 
mond, it  cannot  dissolve,  and  finally  there  will  pass  by  some  one 
whom  its  glitter  will  attract ;  .he  will  pick  it  up  and  go  his  way 
rejoicing.  Then  why  keep  back  a  lofty,  beautiful  word,  for  that 
you  doubt  whether  others  will  understand  ?  An  instant  of  higher 
goodness  was  impending  over  you:  why  hinder  its  coming,  even 
though  you  believe  not  that  those  about  you  will  profit  thereby  ? 
What  if  you  are  among  men  of  the  valley:  is  that  sufficient  rea- 
son for  checking  the  instinctive  movement  of  your  soul  towards 
the  mountain  peaks?  Does  darkness  rob  deep  feeling  of  its 
power  ?  Have  the  blind  naught  but  their  eyes  wherewith  to  dis- 
tinguish those  who  love  them  from  those  who  love  them  not? 
Can  the  beauty  not  exist  that  is  not  understood  ?  and  is  there  not 
in  every  man  something  that  does  understand,  in  regions  far 
beyond  what  he  seems  to  understand, — far  beyond,  too,  what  he 
believes  he  understands  ?  <(  Even  to  the  very  wretchedest  of  all, >} 
said  to  me  one  day  the  loftiest-minded  creature  it  has  ever  been 
my  happiness  to  know, — <(  even  to  the  Very  wretchedest  of  all,  I 
never  have  the  courage  to  say  anything  in  reply  that  is  ugly  or 


MAURICE  MAETERLINCK 


9557 


mediocre. }>  I  have  for  a  long  time  followed  that  man's  life, 
and  have  seen  the  inexplicable  power  he  exercised  over  the  most 
obscure,  the  most  unapproachable,  the  blindest,  even  the  most 
rebellious  of  souls.  For  no  tongue  can  tell  the  power  of  a  soul 
that  strives  to  live  in  an  atmosphere  of  beauty,  and  is  actively 
beautiful  in  itself.  And  indeed,  is  it  not  the  quality  of  this  activ- 
ity that  renders  a  life  either  miserable  or  divine  ? 

If  we  could  but  probe  to  the  root  of  things,  it  might  well 
be  discovered  that  it  is  by  the  strength  of  some  souls  that  are 
beautiful  that  others  are  sustained  in  life.  Is  it  not  the  idea  we 
each  form  of  certain  chosen  ones  that  constitutes  the  only  living, 
effective  morality  ?  But  in  this  idea  how  much  is  there  of  the 
soul  that  is  chosen,  how  much  of  him  who  chooses  ?  Do  not 
these  things  blend  very  mysteriously,  and  does  not  this  ideal 
morality  lie  infinitely  deeper  than  the  morality  of  the  most  beau- 
tiful books  ?  A  far-reaching  influence  exists  therein  whose  limits 
it  is  indeed  difficult  to  define,  and  a  fountain  of  strength  whereat 
we  all  of  us  drink  many  times  a  day.  Would  not  any  weakness 
in  one  of  those  creatures  whom  you  thought  perfect,  and  loved  in 
the  region  of  beauty,  at  once  lessen  your  confidence  in  the  uni- 
versal greatness  of  things,  and  would  your  admiration  for  them 
not  suffer? 

And  again,  I  doubt  whether  anything  in  the  world  can  beau- 
tify a  soul  more  spontaneously,  more  naturally,  than  the  knowl- 
edge that  somewhere  in  its  neighborhood  there  exists  a  pure  and 
noble  being  whom  it  can  unreservedly  love.  When  the  soul  has 
veritably  drawn  near  to  such  a  being,  beauty  is  no  longer  a 
lovely,  lifeless  thing  that  one  exhibits  to  the  stranger;  for  it  sud- 
denly takes  unto  itself  an  imperious  existence,  and  its  activity 
becomes  so  natural  as  to  be  henceforth  irresistible.  Wherefore 
you  will  do  well  to  think  it  over;  for  none  are  alone,  and  those 
who  are  good  must  watch. 

Plotinus,  in  the  eighth  book  of  the  fifth  'Ennead,*  after 
speaking  of  the  beauty  that  is  <(  intelligible, >J — /.  ^.,  Divine, — 
concludes  thus:  (<As  regards  ourselves,  we  are  beautiful  when  we 
belong  to  ourselves,  and  ugly  when  we  lower  ourselves  to  our 
inferior  nature.  Also  are  we  beautiful  when  we  know  ourselves, 
and  ugly  when  we  have  no  such  knowledge. >}  Bear  it  in  mind, 
however,  that  here  we  are  on  the  mountains,  where  not  to  know 
oneself  means  far  more  than  mere  ignorance  of  what  takes  place 
within  us  at  moments  of  jealousy  or  love,  fear  or  envy,  happiness 


9558 


MAURICE  MAETERLINCK 


or  unhappiness.  Here  not  to  know  oneself  means  to  be  uncon- 
scious of  all  the  divine  that  throbs  in  man.  As  we  wander  from 
the  gods  within  us,  so  does  ugliness  enwrap  us;  as  we  discover 
them,  so  do  we  become  more  beautiful.  But  it  is  only  by  re- 
vealing the  divine  that  is  in  us  that  we  may  discover  the  divine 
in  others.  Needs  must  one  god  beckon  to  another;  and  no  signal 
is  so  imperceptible  but  they  will  every  one  of  them  respond.  It 
cannot  be  said  too  often,  that  be  the  crevice  never  so  small,  it 
will  yet  suffice  for  all  the  waters  of  heaven  to  pour  into  our 
soul.  Every  cup  is  stretched  out  to  the  unknown  spring,  and  we 
are  in  a  region  where  none  think  of  aught  but  beauty.  If  we 
could  ask  of  an  angel  what  it  is  that  our  souls  do  in  the  shadow, 
I  believe  the  angel  would  answer,  after  having  looked  for  many 
years  perhaps,  and  seen  far  more  than  the  things  the  soul  seems 
to  do  in  the  eyes  of  men,  <(They  transform  into  beauty  all  the 
little  things  that  are  given  to  them."  AhJ  we  must  admit  that 
the  human  soul  is  possessed  of  singular  courage!  Resignedly 
does  it  labor,  its  whole  life  long,  in  the  darkness  whither  most 
of  us  relegate  it,  where  it  is  spoken  to  by  none.  There,  never 
complaining,  does  it  do  all  that  in  its  power  lies,  striving  to  tear 
from  out  the  pebbles  we  fling  to  it  the  nucleus  of  eternal  light 
that  perad venture  they  contain.  And  in  the  midst  of  its  work  it 
is  ever  lying  in  wait  for  the  moment  when  it  may  show  to  a  sis- 
ter who  is  more  tenderly  cared  for,  or  who  chances  to  be  nearer, 
the  treasures  it  has  so  toilfully  amassed.  But  thousands  of  exist- 
ences there  are  that  no  sister  visits;  thousands  of  existences 
wherein  life  has  infused  such  timidity  into  the  soul  that  it  de- 
parts without  saying  a  word,  without  even  once  having  been  able 
to  deck  itself  with  the  humblest  jewels  of  its  humble  crown. 

And  yet,  in  spite  of  all,  does  it  watch  over  everything  from 
out  its  invisible  heaven.  It  warns  and  loves,  it  admires,  attracts, 
repels.  At  every  fresh  event  does  it  rise  to  the  surface,  where  it 
lingers  till  it  be  thrust  down  again,  being  looked  upon  as  weari- 
some and  insane.  It  wanders  to  and  fro,  like  Cassandra  at  the 
gates  of  the  Atrides.  It  is  ever  giving  utterance  to  words  of 
shadowy  truth,  but  there  are  none  to  listen.  When  we  raise  our 
eyes,  it  yearns  for  a  ray  of  sun  or  star  that  it  may  weave  into  a 
thought,  or  haply  an  impulse,  which  shall  be  unconscious  and 
very  pure.  And  if  our  eyes  bring  it  nothing,  still  will  it  know 
how  to  turn  its  pitiful  disillusion  into  something  ineffable,  that 
it  will  conceal  even  till  its  death.  When  we  love,  how  eagerly 


MAURICE   MAETERLINCK 

does  it  drink  in  the  light  from  behind  the  closed  door!  —  keen 
with  expectation,  it  yet  wastes  not  a  minute,  and  the  light  that 
steals  through  the  apertures  becomes  beauty  and  truth  to  the 
soul.  But  if  the  door  open  not,  (and  how  many  lives  are  there 
wherein  it  does  open  ?)  it  will  go  back  into  its  prison,  and  its 
regret  will  perhaps  be  a  loftier  verity  that  shall  never  be -seen;  — 
for  we  are  now  in  the  region  of  transformations  whereof  none 
may  speak;  and  though  nothing  born  this  side  of  the  door  can 
be  lost,  yet  does  it  never  mingle  with  our  life. 

I  said  just  now  that  the  soul  changed  into  beauty  the  little 
things  we  gave  to  it.  It  would  even  seem,  the  more  we  think  of 
it,  that  the  soul  has  no  other  reason  for  existence,  and  that  all  its 
activity  is  consumed  in  amassing,  at  the  depths  of  us,  a  treasure 
of  indescribable  beauty.  Might  not  everything  naturally  turn  into 
beauty  were  we  not  unceasingly  interrupting  the  arduous  labors 
of  our  soul  ?  Does  not  evil  itself  become  precious  so  soon  as  it 
has  gathered  therefrom  the  deep-lying  diamond  of  repentance  ? 
The  acts  of  injustice  whereof  you  have  been  guilty,  the  tears  you 
have  caused  to  flow,  will  not  these  end  too  by  becoming  so  much 
radiance  and  love  in  your  soul  ?  Have  you  ever  cast  your  eyes 
into  this  kingdom  of  purifying  flame  that  is  within  you  ?  Per- 
haps a  great  wrong  may  have  been  done  you  to-day,  the  act 
itself  being  mean  and  disheartening,  the  mode  of  action  of  the 
basest,  and  ugliness  wrapped  you  round  as  your  tears  fell.  But 
let  some  years  elapse, —  then  give  one  look  into  your  soul,  and 
tell  me  whether,  beneath  the  recollection  of  that  act,  you  see  not 
something  that  is  already  purer  than  thought:  an  indescribable, 
unnamable  force  that  has  naught  in  common  with  the  forces  of 
this  world;  a  mysterious  inexhaustible  spring  of  the  other  life, 
whereat  you  may  drink  for  the  rest  of  your  days.  And  yet  will 
you  have  rendered  no  assistance  to  the  untiring  queen;  other 
thoughts  will  have  filled  your  mind,  and  it  will  be  without  your 
knowledge  that  the  act  will  have  been  purified  in  the  silence  of 
your  being,  and  will  have  flown  into  the  precious  waters  that  lie 
in  the  great  reservoir  of  truth  and  beauty,  which,  unlike  the 
shallower  reservoir  of  true  or  beautiful  thoughts,  has  an  ever 
ruffled  surface,  and  remains  for  all  time  out  of  reach  of  the 
breath  of  life.  Emerson  tells  us  that  there  is  not  an  act  or 
event  in  our  life  but  sooner  or  later  casts  off  its  outer  shell,  and 
bewilders  us  by  its  sudden  flight,  from  the  very  depths  of  us,  on 
high  into  the  empyrean.  And  this  is  true  to  a  far  greater  extent 


MAURICE  MAETERLINCK 

than  Emerson  had  foreseen;  for  the  further  we  advance  in  these 
regions,  the  diviner  are  the  spheres  we  discover. 

We  can  form  no  adequate  conception  of  what  this  silent  activ- 
ity of  the  souls  that  surround  us  may  really  mean.  Perhaps  yov 
have  spoken  a  pure  word  to  one  of  your  fellows,  by  whom  it  has 
not  been  understood.  You  look  upon  it  as  lost,  and  dismiss  it 
from  your  mind.  But  one  day,  peradventure,  the  word  comes  up 
again  extraordinarily  transformed,  and  revealing  the  unexpected 
fruit  it  has  borne  in  the  darkness;  then  silence  once  more  falls 
over  all.  But  it  matters  not;  we  have  learned  that  nothing  can 
be  lost  in  the  soul,  and  that  even  to  the  very  pettiest  there 
come  moments  of  splendor.  It  is  unmistakably  borne  home  to 
us  that  even  the  unhappiest  and  the  most  destitute  of  men 
have  at  the  depths  of  their  being,  and  in  spite  of  themselves,  a 
treasure  of  beauty  that  they  cannot  despoil.  They  have  but  to 
acquire  the  habit  of  dipping  into  this  treasure.  It  suffices  not 
that  beauty  should  keep  solitary  festival  in  life;  it  has  to  become 
a  festival  of  every  day.  There  needs  no  great  effort  to  be  ad- 
mitted into  the  ranks  of  those  <(  whose,  eyes  no  longer  behold 
earth  in  flower,  and  sky  in  glory,  in  infinitesimal  fragments,  but 
indeed  in  sublime  masses w;  —  and  I  speak  here  of  flowers  and 
sky  that  are  purer  and  more  lasting  than  those  that  we  behold. 
Thousands  of  channels  there  are  through  which  the  beauty  of 
our  soul  may  sail  even  unto  our  thoughts.  Above  all  is  there 
the  wonderful  central  channel  of  love. 

Is  it  not  in  love  that  are  found  the  purest  elements  of  beauty 
that  we  can  offer  to  the  soul  ?  Some  there  are  who  do  thus  in 
beauty  love  each  other.  And  to  love  thus  means  that,  little  by 
little,  the  sense  of  ugliness  is  lost;  that  one's  eyes  are  closed  to 
all  the  littlenesses  of  life,  to  all  but  the  freshness  and  virginity 
of  the  very  humblest  of  souls.  Loving  thus,  we  have  no  longer 
even  the  need  to  forgive.  Loving  thus,  we  can  no  longer  have 
anything  to  conceal,  for  that  the  ever  present  soul  transforms  all 
things  into  beauty.  It  is  to  behold  evil  in  so  far  only  as  it  puri- 
fies indulgence,  and  teaches  us  no  longer  to  confound  the  sinner 
with  his  sin.  Loving  thus,  do  we  raise  on  high  within  ourselves 
all  those  about  us  who  have  attained  an  eminence  where  failure 
has  become  impossible;  heights  whence  a  paltry  action  has  so 
far  to  fall,  that  touching  earth  it  is  compelled  to  yield  up  its 
diamond  soul.  It  is  to  transform,  though  all  unconsciously,  the 
feeblest  intention  that  hovers  about  us  into  illimitable  movement 


MAURICE  MAETERLINCK  956r 

It  is  to  summon  all  that  is  beautiful  in  earth,  heaven,  or  soul, 
to  the  banquet  of  love.  Loving  thus,  we  do  indeed  exist  before 
our  fellows  as  we  exist  before  God.  It  means  that  the  least 
gesture  will  call  forth  the  presence  of  the  soul  with  all  its  treas- 
ure. No  longer  is  there  need  of  death,  disaster,  or  tears,  for  that 
the  soul  shall  appear:  a  smile  suffices.  Loving  thus,  we  perceive 
truth  in  happiness  as  profoundly  as  some  of  the  heroes  perceived 
it  in  the  radiance  of  greatest  sorrow.  It  means  that  the  beauty 
that  turns  into  love  is  undistinguishable  from  the  love  that  turns 
into  beauty.  It  means  to  be  able  no  longer  to  tell  where  the 
ray  of  a  star  leaves  off  and  the  kiss  of  an  ordinary  thought  be- 
gins. It  means  to  have  come  so  near  to  God  that  the  angels 
possess  us.  Loving  thus,  the  same  soul  -will  have  been  so  beau- 
tified by  us  all  that  it  will  become  little  by  little  the  <(  unique 
angel >}  mentioned  by  Swedenborg.  It  means  that  each  day  will 
reveal  to  us  a  new  beauty  in  that  mysterious  angel,  and  that  we 
shall  walk  together  in  a  goodness  that  shall  ever  become  more 
and  more  living,  loftier  and  loftier.  For  there  exists  also  a  life- 
less beauty  made  up  of  the  past  alone;  but  the  veritable  love 
renders  the  past  useless,  and  its  approach  creates  a  boundless 
future  of  goodness,  without  disaster  and  without  tears.  To  love 
thus  is  but  to  free  one's  soul,  and  to  become  as  beautiful  as  the 
soul  thus  freed.  (( If,  in  the  emotion  that  this  spectacle  cannot 
fail  to  awaken  in  thee,"  says  the  great  Plotinus,  when  dealing 
with  kindred  matters, —  and  of  all  the  intellects  known  to  me, 
that  of  Plotinus  draws  the  nearest  to  the  divine, —  <(if,  in  the 
emotion  that  this  spectacle  cannot  fail  to  awaken  in  thee,  thou 
proclaimest  not  that  it  is  beautiful ;  and  if,  plunging  thine  eyes 
into  thyself,  thou  dost  not  then  feel  the  charm  of  beauty, —  it 
is  in  vain  that,  thy  disposition  being  such,  thou  shouldst  seek 
the  intelligible  beauty;  for  thou  wouldst  seek  it  only  with  that 
which  is  ugly  and  impure.  Therefore  it  is  that  the  discourse  we 
hold  here  is  not  addressed  to  all  men.  But  if  thou  hast  recog- 
nized beauty  within  thyself,  see  that  thou  rise  to  the  recollection 
of  the  intelligible  beauty. }> 


MAURICE  MAETERLINCK 

FROM   <THE   TRAGICAL   IN   DAILY  LIFE> 
In  <The  Treasure  of  the  Humble  > 

THERE  is  a  tragic  element  in  the  life  of  every  day  that  is  far 
more  real,  far  more  penetrating,  far  more  akin  to  the  true 
self  that  is  in  us  than  the  tragedy  that  lies  in  great  ad- 
venture. .  .  . 

Is  it  beyond  the  mark  to  say  that  the  true  tragic  element,  nor- 
mal, deep-rooted,  and  universal, — that  the  true  tragic  element  of 
life  only  begins  at  the  moment  when  so-called  adventures,  sor- 
rows, and  dangers  have  disappeared  ?  Is  the  arm  of  happiness 
not  longer  than  that  of  sorrow,  and  do  not  certain  of  its  attri- 
butes draw  nearer  to  the  soul  ?  Must  we  indeed  roar  like  the 
Atridae,  before  the  Eternal  God  will  reveal  himself  in  our  life  ? 
and  is  he  never  by  our  side  at  times  when  the  air  is  calm,  and 
the  lamp  burns  on  unflickering?  .  .  .  Are  there  not  ele- 
ments of  deeper  gravity  and  stability  in  happiness,  in  a  single 
moment  of  repose,  than  in  the  whirlwind  of  passion  ?  Is  it  not 
then  that  we  at  last  behold  the  march  of  time  —  ay,  and  of  many 
another  on-stealing  besides,  more  secret  still  —  is  it  not  then  that 
the  hours  rush  forward  ?  Are  not  deeper  chords  set  vibrating 
by  all  these  things  than  by  the  dagger-stroke  of  conventional 
drama  ?  Is  it  not  at  the  very  moment  when  a  man  believes  him- 
self secure  from  bodily  death  that  the  strange  and  silent  tragedy 
of  the  being  and  the  immensities  does  indeed  raise  its  curtain  on 
the  stage  ?  Is  it  while  I  flee  before  a  naked  sword  that  my 
existence  touches  its  most  interesting  point  ?  Is  life  always  at 
its  sublimest  in  a  kiss  ?  Are  there  not  other  moments,  when  one 
hears  purer  voices  that  do  not  fade  away  so  soon  ?  Does  the 
soul  only  flower  on  nights  of  storm  ?  Hitherto,  doubtless,  this 
belief  has  prevailed.  It  is  only  the  life  of  violence,  the  life  of 
bygone  days,  that  is  perceived  by  nearly  all  our  tragic  writers; 
and  truly  may  one  say  that  anachronism  dominates  the  stage, 
and  that  dramatic  art  dates  back  as  many  years  as  the  art  of 
sculpture.  .  .  . 

To  the  tragic  author,  as  to  the  mediocre  painter  who  still 
lingers  over  historical  pictures,  it  is  only  the 'violence  of  the 
anecdote  that  appeals;  and  in  his  representation  thereof  does  the 
entire  interest  of  his  work  consist.  And  he  imagines,  forsooth, 
that  we  shall  delight  in  witnessing  the  very  same  acts  that 


MAURICE   MAETERLINCK 


9563 


brought  joy  to  the  hearts  of  the  barbarians,  with  whom  murder, 
outrage,  and  treachery  were  matters  of  daily  occurrence.  Where- 
as it  is  far  away  from  bloodshed,  battle-cry,  and  sword-thrust 
that  the  lives  of  most  of  us  flow  on;  and  men's  tears  are  silent 
to-day,  and  invisible,  and  almost  spiritual. 

Indeed,  when  I  go  to  a  theatre,  I  feel  as  though  I  were 
spending  a  few  hours  with  my  ancestors,  who  conceived  life  as 
something  that  was  primitive,  arid,  and  brutal;  but  this  concep- 
tion of  theirs  scarcely  even  lingers  in  my  memory,  and  surely  it 
is  not  one  that  I  can  share.  I  am  shown  a  deceived  husband 
killing  his  wife,  a  woman  poisoning  her  lover,  a  son  avenging 
his  father,  a  father  slaughtering  his  children,  children  putting 
their  father  to  death,  murdered  kings,  ravished  virgins,  impris- 
oned citizens  —  in  a  word,  all  the  sublimity  of  tradition,  but  alas, 
how  superficial  and  material !  Blood,  surface-tears,  and  death ! 
What  can  I '  learn  from  creatures  who  have  but  one  fixed  idea, 
and  who  have  no  time  to  live,  for  that  there  is  a  rival,  or  a 
mistress,  whom  it  behoves  them  to  put  to  death  ?  .  .  . 

I  admire  Othello,  but  he  does  not  appear  to  me  to  live  the 
august  daily  life  of  a  Hamlet,  who  has  the  time  to  live,  inasmuch 
as  he  does  not  act.  Othello  is  admirably  jealous.  But  is  it  not 
perhaps  an  ancient  error  to  imagine  that  it  is  at  the  moments 
when  this  passion,  or  others  of  equal  violence,  possesses  us,  that 
we  live  our  truest  lives  ?  I  have  grown  to  believe  that  an  old 
man,  seated  in  his  arm-chair,  waiting  patiently,  with  his  lamp 
beside  him;  giving  unconscious  ear  to  all  the  eternal  laws  that 
reign  about  his  house  ;*  interpreting,  without  comprehending,  the 
silence  of  doors  and  windows  and  the  quivering  voice  of  the 
light;  submitting  with  bent  head  to  the  presence  of  his  soul  and 
his  destiny, —  an  old  man,  who  conceives  not  that  all  the  powers 
of  this  world,  like  so  many  heedful  servants,  are  mingling  and 
keeping  vigil  in  his  room,  who  suspects  not  that  the  very  sun 
itself  is  supporting  in  space  the  little  table  against  which  he 
leans,  or  that  every  star  in  heaven  and  every  fibre  of  the  soul 
are  directly  concerned  in  the  movement  of  an  eyelid  that  closes, 
or  a  thought  that  springs  to  birth, —  I  have  grown  to  believe  that 
he,  motionless  as  he  is,  does  yet  live  in  reality  a  deeper,  more 
human,  and  more  universal  life  than  the  lover  who  strangles  his 
mistress,  the  captain  who  conquers  in  battle,  or  <(the  husband 
who  avenges  his  honor. }> 


9564 


DR.   WILLIAM  MAGINN 

(1793-1842) 

JLACKWOOD  was  astonished  one  day  by  the  intrusion  of  a  wild 
Irishman  from  Cork  into  the  publishing  house  of  the  staid 
Scotch  magazine.  With  much  warmth  and  an  exaggerated 
brogue  the  stranger  demanded  to  know  the  identity  of  one  Ralph 
Tuckett  Scott,  who  had  been  printing  things  in  the  periodical.  Of 
course  he  was  not  told,  and  was  very  coldly  treated;  but  Mr.  Black- 
wood  was  much  delighted  at  last  to  find  in  the  person  of  his  guest 
the  original  of  his  valued  and  popular  Irish  contributor,  who  taking 

this  odd  method  disclosed  the  personality 
and  name  of  William  Maginn,  a  young 
schoolmaster  who  had  begun  to  write  over 
the  name  of  Grossman,  and  afterwards  as- 
sumed several  other  pseudonyms  before  he 
settled  upon  the  famous  <(Sir  Morgan  O'Do- 
herty.» 

Born  in  the  city  of  Cork,  July  loth,  1793, 
William  Maginn  may  be  said  to  have  taken 
in  learning  with  his  mother's  milk.  His 
father  conducted  an  academy  for  boys  in 
the  Irish  Athens,  as  Cork  was  then  called; 
and  the  future  editor  of  Eraser's  Magazine 
was  prepared  for  *and  entered  Trinity  Col- 
lege, Dublin,  at  the  age  of  ten.  He  was 

graduated  at  fourteen;  and  so  extraordinary  was  his  mind  that  he 
was  master  not  only  of  the  classics  but  of  most  of  the  languages  of 
modern  Europe,  including  of  course  his  own  ancestral  Gaelic.  When 
his  father  died,  William,  then  twenty  years  of  age,  took  charge  of 
the  academy  in  Marlborough  Street,  and  in  1817  took  his  degree  of 
LL.  D.  at  Trinity  College.  In  the  following  year  he  made  his  way 
into  the  field  of  letters.  When  he  went  to  London  in  1824,  his  repu- 
tation as  a  brilliant  writer  was  well  established  and  enduring.  He 
had  married  in  1817  the  daughter  of  the  Rev.  Mr.  Bullen,  rector  of 
Kanturk. 

Immediately  upon  his  removal  to  London,  he  was  engaged  by 
Theodore  Hook  as  editor  of  John  Bull.  In  1827  he  boldly  published 
a  broad  and  witty  satire  on  Scott's  historical  novels.  He  was  assist- 
ant editor  of  the  Evening  Standard  upon  its  institution,  a  position 


f 


DR.  WILLIAM  MAGINN 


DR.  WILLIAM  MAGINN  9565 

which  he  held  for  years  at  a  salary  of  ^400.  These  years  he  said 
afterwards  were  the  happiest  of  his  life.  He  was  a  sturdy  Irishman, 
and  proud  of  his  country;  and  he  had  what  is  often  an  Irishman's 
Strongest  weakness, — he  was  a  spendthrift.  His  appreciation  of  his 
relations  toward  creditors  was  embodied  in  the  phrase  (<  They  put 
something  in  a  book.*  Little  wonder  then  that  his  last  years  were 
wretched  and  bailiff-haunted.  The  sketch  of  Captain  Brandon  in  the 
debtors'  prison,  in  'Pendennis,'  is  said  to  have  been  taken  from  this 
period  of  Maginn's  life. 

Before  this  sad  time,  though,  came  a  long  era  of  prosperity,  and 
the  days  of  the  uncrowned  sovereignty  of  letters  as  editor  of  Eraser's 
Magazine.  This  periodical  was  started  as  a  rival  to  Blackwood's 
because  Maginn  had  fallen  out  with  the  publishers  of  that  magazine. 
The  first  number  appeared  February  ist,  1830;  and  before  the  year 
was  out  it  was  not  only  a  great  financial  success,  but  had  upon  its 
staff  the  best  of  all  the  English  writers.  The  attachment  between 
Dr.  Maginn  and  Letitia  E.  Landon  began  in  this  time;  and  was, 
though  innocent  enough,  a  sad  experience  for  them  both, — torturing 
Maginn  through  the  jealousy  of  his  wife,  and  sending  (<  L.  E.  L.w  to  an 
uncongenial  marriage,  and  death  by  prussic  acid  in  the  exile  of  the 
West  Coast  of  Africa.  Released  from  the  Fleet  by  the  Insolvency 
Act  in  1842,  broken  in  health  and  spirit,  Maginn  went  to  the  vil- 
lage of  Walton-on-Thames,  where  he  died  from  consumption,  penniless 
and  almost  starving,  on  the  2ist  of  August  of  that  year.  Sir  Robert 
Peel  had  procured  for  him  from  the  Crown  a  gift  of  ^100;  but  he 
died  without  knowledge  of  the  scanty  gratuity. 


SAINT  PATRICK 

A  FIG  for  St.  Denis  of  France, 
He's  a  trumpery  fellow  to  brag  on; 
A  fig  for  St.  George  and  his  lance, 

Which  spitted  a  heathenish  dragon ; 
And  the  saints  of  the  Welshman  or  Scot 

Are  a  couple  of  pitiful  pipers, 
Both  of  whom  may  just  travel  to  pot, 
Compared  with  the  patron  of  swipers, 
St.  Patrick  of  Ireland,  my  dear! 

He  came  to  the  Emerald  Isle 

On  a  lump  of  a  paving-stone  mounted; 
The  steamboat  he  beat  to  a  mile, 

Which  mighty  good  sailing  was  counted: 


9566  DR.  WILLIAM  MAGINN 

Says  he,  «The  salt  water,  I  think, 

Has  made  me  most  bloodily  thirsty; 

So  bring  me  a  flagon  of  drink, 

To  keep  down  the  mulligrubs,  burst  ye, — 
Of  drink  that  is  fit  for  a  saint. » 

He  preached  then  with  wonderful  force, 

The  ignorant  natives  a-teaching; 
With  a  pint  he  washed  down  his  discourse, 

"For,"  says  he,  «I  detest  your  dry  preaching.15 
The  people,  with  wonderment  struck 

At  a  pastor  so  pious  and  civil, 
Exclaimed,  (<  We're  for  you,  my  old  buck, 

And  we  pitch  our  blind  gods  to  the  Devil, 
Who  dwells  in  hot  water  below. w 

This  ended,  our  worshipful  spoon 

Went  to  visit  an  elegant  fellow, 
Whose  practice  each  cool  afternoon 

Was  to  get  most  delightfully  mellow. 
That  day,  with  a  black-jack  of  beer, 

It  chanced  he  was  treating  a  party:.    . 
Says  the  saint,   <(This  good  day,  do  you  hear, 

I  drank  nothing  to  speak  of,  my  hearty, 
So  give  me  a  pull  at  the  pot." 

The  pewter  he  lifted  in  sport 

(Believe  me,  I  tell  you  no  fable); 
A  gallon  he  drank  from  the  quart, 

And  then  planted  it  full  on  the  table. 
<(A  miracle ! w   every  one  said, 

And  they  all  took  a  haul  at  the  stingo: 
They  were  capital  hands  at  the  trade, 

And  drank  till  they  fell;    yet,  by  jingo! 
The  pot  still  frothed  over  the  brim. 

Next  day  quoth  his  host,  <(  'Tis  a  fast, 

But  I've  naught  in  my  larder  but  mutton; 
And  on  Fridays  who'd  make  such  repast, 

Except  an  unchristian-like  glutton  ? w 
Says  Pat,  <( Cease  your  nonsense,  I  beg; 

What  you  tell  me  is  nothing  but  gammon: 
Take  my  compliments  down  to  the  leg, 

And  bid  it  come  hither  a  salmon ! w 
And  the  leg  most  politely  complied. 


DR.  WILLIAM  MAGINN  9567 

You've  heard,  I  suppose,  long  ago, 

How  the  snakes  in  a  manner  most  antic 
He  marched  to  the  County  Mayo, 

And  trundled  them  into  th'  Atlantic. 
Hence  not  to  use  water  for  drink 

The  people  of  Ireland  determine; 
With  mighty  good  reason,  I  think, 

Since  St.  Patrick  had  filled  it  with  vermin, 
And  vipers,  and  other  such  stuff. 

Oh,  he  was  an  elegant  blade 

As  you'd  meet  from  Fair  Head  to  Kilcrumper; 
And  though  under  the  sod  he  is  laid, 

Yet  here  goes  his  health  in  a  bumper! 
I  wish  he  was  here,  that  my  glass 

He  might  by  art  magic  replenish; 
But  as  he  is  not,  why,  alas! 

My  ditty  must  come  to  a  finish  — 
Because  all  the  liquor  is  out! 


SONG  OF  THE  SEA 
«Woe  to  us  when  we  lose  the  watery  wall!))  —  TIMOTHY  TICKLER. 

IF  E'ER  that  dreadful  hour  should  come  —  but  God  avert  the  day!  — 
When   England's  glorious   flag  must  bend,  and  yield  old  Ocean's 

sway ; 

When  foreign  ships  shall  o'er  that  deep,  where  she  is  empress,  lord; 
When  the  cross  of  red  from  boltsprit-head  is  hewn  by  foreign  sword; 
When  foreign  foot  her  quarter-deck  with  proud  stride  treads  along; 
When  her  peaceful   ships  meet  haughty  check  from  hail  of  foreign 

tongue : 

One  prayer,  one  only  prayer  is  mine, —  that  ere  is  seen  that  sight, 
Ere  there  be  warning  of  that  woe,  I  may  be  whelmed  in  night  ! 

If  ever  other  prince  than  ours  wield  sceptre  o'er  that  main, 
Where  Howard,  Blake,  and  Frobisher  the  Armada  smote  of  Spain; 
Where  Blake,  in  Cromwell's  iron  sway,  swept  tempest-like  the  seas,    - 
From  North  to  South,  from  East  to  West,  resistless  as  the  breeze; 
Where  Russell  bent  great  Louis's  power,  which  bent  before  to  none, 
And  crushed  his  arm  of  naval  strength,  and  dimmed  his  Rising  Sun: 
One  prayer,  one  only  prayer  is  mine, — that  ere  is  seen  that  sight, 
Ere  there  be  warning  of  that  woe,  I  may  be  whelmed  in  night! 


9568 


DR.  WILLIAM   MAGINN 


If  ever  other  keel  than  ours  triumphant  plow  that  brine,  [line; 

Where  Rodney  met  the  Count  de  Grasse,  and  broke  the  Frenchman's 
Where  Howe  upon  the  first  of  June  met  the  Jacobins  in  fight, 
And  with  old  England's  loud  huzzas  broke  down  their  godless  might; 
Where  Jervis  at  St.  Vincent's  felled  the  Spaniards'  lofty  tiers, 
Where  Duncan  won  at  Camperdown,  and  Exmouth  at  Algiers: 
One  prayer,  one  only  prayer  is  mine, — that  ere  is  seen  that  sight, 
Ere  there  be  warning  of  that  woe,  I  may  be  whelmed  in  night! 

But  oh!   what  agony  it  were,  when  we  should  think  on  thee, 

The  flower  of  all  the  Admirals  that  ever  trod  the  sea! 

I  shall  not  name  thy  honored  name;  but  if  the  white-cliffed  Isle 

Which  reared  the  Lion  of  the  deep,  the  Hero  of  the  Nile, — 

Him  who  'neath  Copenhagen's  self  o'erthrew  the  faithless  Dane, 

Who  died  at  glorious  Trafalgar,  o'ervanquished  France  and  Spain, — 

Should   yield   her  power,   one  prayer  is  mine, — that  ere  is  seen  that 

sight, 
Ere  there  be  warning  of  that  woe,  I  may  be  whelmed  in  night! 


9569 


JOHN   PENTLAND  MAHAFFY 

(1839-) 

JOHN  PENTLAND  MAHAFFY  is  conspicuous  among  contemporary 
Greek  scholars  and  historians  for  devoting  himself  less  to 
the  study  of  the  golden  age  of  the  Greek  intellect  than  to 
the  post-Alexandrian  period,  when  the  union  of  Greece  with  the 
Orient  produced  the  Hellenistic  world.  It  is  in  this  highly  colored, 
essentially  modern  world  of  decadent  Greek  energy  that  Professor 
Mahaffy  is  most  at  home,  and  in  which  he  finds  the  greatest  number 
of  parallels  to  the  civilization  of  his  own  day.  He  is  disposed  indeed 
to  link  England  and  Ireland,  through  their 
political  life,  to  the  Athens  and  Sparta  of 
the  third  century  before  Christ,  and  to  find 
precedents  in  the  Grecian  republics  for 
democratic  conditions  in  the  United  States. 
In  the  opening  chapter  of  his  ( Greek  Life 
and  Thought,*  after  dwelling  upon  the  hos- 
tile attitude  of  Sparta  and  Athens  towards 
the  Macedonian  government,  he  adds,  <(  But 
we  are  quite  accustomed  in  our  own  day  to 
this  Home-Rule  and  Separatist  spirit. }> 

It  is  this  intimate  manner  of  approach- 
ing a  far-off  theme  that  gives  to  Professor 
Mahaffy's  work  much  of  its  interest.  He  is 
continually  translating  ancient  history  into 
the  terms  of  modern  life.  <(  Let  us  save  ancient  history, »  he  writes, 
<(from  its  dreary  fate  in  the  hands  of  the  dry  antiquarian,  the  nar- 
row scholar;  and  while  we  utilize  all  his  research  and  all  his  learn- 
ing, let  us  make  the  acts  and  lives  of  older  men  speak  across  the 
chasm  of  centuries  and  claim  kindred  with  the  men  and  motives  of 
to-day.  For  this  and  this  only  is  to  write  history  in  the  full  and  real 
sense. » 

Whatever  the  merits  of  his  scholarship,  Professor  Mahaffy  has 
adhered  closely  to  his  ideal  of  a  historian.  He  has  a  thorough  grasp 
upon  the  spirit  of  that  period  for  which  he  has  the  keenest  appre- 
ciation, and  which  he  is  able  to  present  to  his  readers  with  the  great- 
est clearness  and  vividness  of  color  and  outline.  It  is  true,  doubtless, 
as  he  says,  that  the  exclusive  attention  paid  by  modern  scholars  to  the 


J.  P.  MAHAFFY 


JOHN  PENTLAND   MAHAFFY 

age  of  spotless  Atticism  has  overshadowed  that  Oriental-Hellenistic 
world  which  rose  after  Alexander  sank.  The  majority  of  persons 
know  little  of  that  rich  life  of  decaying  arts  and  flourishing  philoso- 
phies, and  strangely  modern  political  and  social  conditions,  which  had 
its  centres  in  Alexandria  and  Antioch.  It  is  of  this  that  Professor 
Mahaffy  writes  familiarly  in  his  <  Greek  Life  and  Thought,'  and  in 
his  (  Greek  World  under  Roman  Sway.*  He  succeeds  in  throwing  a 
great  deal  of  light  upon  this  period  of  history;  less  perhaps  through 
sheer  force  of  scholarship  than  through  his  happy  faculty  of  finding 
a  family  relationship  in  the  poets,  philosophers,  statesmen,  and  kings 
of  a  long-dead  world.  What  he  may  lose  as  a  <(pure  scholar w  he 
thus  gains  as  a  historian. 

In  his  classical  researches,  he  has  profited  greatly  by  his  acquaint- 
ance with  German  investigations  in  this  field.  Although  of  Irish 
parentage,  he  was  born  in  Switzerland  in  1839,  and  the  roots  of  his 
education  were  fixed  in  the  soil  of  German  scholarship.  His  subse- 
quent residence  at  Trinity  College,  Dublin,  as  professor  of  ancient 
history,  has  by  no  means  weaned  him  from  his  earlier  educational 
influences.  He  attaches  the  utmost  importance  to  the  thorough-going 
spirit  of  the  German  Grecians.  He  makes  constant  use  of  their  discov- 
eries. Nevertheless  Professor  Mahaffy  is  more  of  a  sympathetic  Irish 
historian  or  historical  essayist  than  a  strict  Greek  scholar  after  the 
German  pattern.  He  is  at  his  best  when  he  is  writing  of  the  social 
side  of  Hellenistic  life.  His  <  Greek  Life  and  Thought,  >  his  <  Greek 
World  under  Roman  Sway,  *  his  <  Survey  of  Greek  Civilization,  *  his 
<  Social  Life  in  Greece, y  show  keen  insight  into  the  conditions  which 
governed  the  surface  appearances  of  a  world  whose  colors  have  not 
yet  faded.  This  world  of  Oriental  sensuousness  wedded  to  Greek 
intelligence,  this  world  which  began  with  Demosthenes  and  Alexan- 
der and  ended  with  Nero  and  St.  John,  seems  to  Professor  Mahaffy 
a  more  perfect  prototype  of  the  modern  world  than  the  purer  Attic 
civilization  which  preceded  it,  or  the  civilization  of  Imperial  Rome 
which  followed  it. 

Like  the  majority  of  modern  Greek  scholars,  Professor  Mahaffy  has 
engaged  in  antiquarian  research  upon  the  soil  of  Greece  itself.  His 
( Rambles  and  Studies  in  Greece,  >  a  work  of  conversational  charm, 
shows  not  a  little  poetical  feeling  for  the  memories  that  haunt  the 
living  sepulchre  of  a  great  dead  race. 

Other  works  of  Professor  Mahaffy  include  < Problems  in  Greek 
History,  >  ( Prolegomena  to  Ancient  History,  >  <  Lectures  on  Primitive 
Civilization, }  <The  Story  of  Alexander's  Empire,  >  (Old  Greek  Life,' 
and  the  <  History  of  Classical  Greek  Literature. }  His  value  as  a 
historian  and  student  of  Greek  life  lies  mainly  in  his  power  of  sug- 
gestion, and  in  his  original  and  fearless  treatment  of  subjects  usually 


JOHN  PENTLAND  MAHAFFY 

approached  with  the  dreary  deference  of  self-conscious  scholarship. 
His  revelation  of  the  same  human  nature  linking  the  world  of  two 
thousand  years  ago  to  the  world  of  the  present  day,  has  earned  for 
his  Greek  studies  deserved  popularity. 

: 

CHILDHOOD   IN  ANCIENT  LIFE 

From  <Old  Greek  Education  > 

WE  FIND  in  Homer,  especially  in  the  Iliad,  indications  of  the 
plainest  kind  that  Greek  babies  were  like  the  babies  of 
modern  Europe:  equally  troublesome,  equally  delightful  to 
their  parents,  equally  uninteresting  to  the  rest  of  society.  The 
famous  scene  in  the  sixth  book  of  the  Iliad,  when  Hector's  infant, 
Astyanax,  screams  at  the  sight  of  his  father's  waving  crest,  and 
the  hero  lays  his  helmet  on  the  ground  that  he  may  laugh  and 
weep  over  the  child;  the  love  and  tenderness  of  Andromache, 
and  her  pathetic  laments  in  the  twenty-second  book, —  are  famil- 
iar to  all.  She  foresees  the  hardships  and  unkindnesses  to  her 
orphan  boy,  <(  who  was  wont  upon  his  father's  knees  to  eat  the 
purest  marrow  and  the  rich  fat  of  sheep,  and  when  sleep  came 
upon  him,  and  he  ceased  his  childish  play,  he  would  lie  in  the 
arms  of  his  nurse,  on  a  soft  cushion,  satisfied  with  every  comfort. J> 
So  again,  a  protecting  goddess  is  compared  to  a  mother  keeping 
the  flies  from  her  sleeping  infant;  and  a  pertinacious  friend,  to 
a  little  girl  who,  running  beside  her  mother,  begs  to  be  taken 
up,  holding  her  mother's  dress  and  delaying  her,  and  with  tear- 
ful eyes  keeps  looking  up  till  the  mother  denies  her  no  longer. 
These  are  only  stray  references,  and  yet  they  speak  no  less  clearly 
than  if  we  had  asked  for  an  express  answer  to  a  direct  inquiry. 
So  we  have  the  hesitation  of  the  murderers  sent  to  make  away 
with  the  infant  Cypselus,  who  had  been  foretold  to  portend  dan- 
ger to  the  Corinthian  Herods  of  that  day.  The  smile  of  the 
baby  unmans  —  or  should  we  rather  say  unbrutes  ?  —  the  first  ruf- 
fian, and  so  the  task  is  passed  on  from  man  to  man.  This  story 
in  Herodotus  is  a  sort  of  natural  Greek  parallel  to  the  great 
Shakespearean  scene,  where  another  child  sways  his  intended  tor- 
turer with  an  eloquence  more  conscious  and  explicit,  but  not  per- 
haps more  powerful,  than  the  radiant  smile  of  the  Greek  baby. 
Thus  Euripides,  the  great  master  of  pathos,  represents  Iphigenia 
bringing  her  infant  brother  Orestes  to  plead  for  her.  with  that 


9572  JOHN  PENTLAND  MAHAFFY 

unconsciousness  of  sorrow  which  pierces  us  to  the  heart  more 
than  the  most  affecting  rhetoric.  In  modern  art  a  little  child 
playing  about  its  dead  mother,  and  waiting  with  contentment  for 
her  awaking,  is  perhaps  the  most  powerful  appeal  to  human  com- 
passion which  we  are  able  to  conceive. 

On  the  other  hand,  the  troubles  of  infancy  were  then  as  now 
very  great.  We  do  not  indeed  hear  of  croup,  or  teething,  or 
measles,  or  whooping-cough.  But  these  are  occasional  matters, 
and  count  as  nothing  beside  the  inexorable  tyranny  of  a  sleepless 
baby.  For  then  as  now,  mothers  and  nurses  had  a  strong  preju- 
dice in  favor  of  carrying  about  restless  children,  and  so  soothing 
them  to  sleep.  The  unpractical  Plato  requires  that  in  his  fabu- 
lous Republic  two  or  three  stout  nurses  shall  be  in  readiness  to 
carry  about  each  child;  because  children,  like  gamecocks,  gain 
spirit  and  endurance  by  this  treatment!  What  they  really  gain 
is  a  gigantic  power  of  torturing  their  mothers.  Most  children 
can  readily  be  taught  to  sleep  in  a  bed,  or  even  in  an  arm-chair, 
but  an  infant  once  accustomed  to  being  carried  about  will  insist 
upon  it;  and  so  it  came  that  Greek  husbands  were  obliged  to 
relegate  their  wives  to  another  sleeping-room,  where  the  nightly 
squalling  of  the  furious  infant  might  not  disturb  the  master  as 
well  as  the  mistress  of  the  house.  But  the  Greek  gentleman 
was  able  to  make  good  his  damaged  rest  by  a  midday  siesta,  and 
so  required  but  little  sleep  at  night.  The  modern  father  in 
northern  Europe,  with  his  whole  day's  work  and  waking,  is 
therefore  in  a  more  disadvantageous  position. 

Of  course  very  fashionable  people  kept  nurses;  and  it  was  the 
highest  tone  at  Athens  to  have  a  Spartan  nurse  for  the  infant, 
just  as  an  English  nurse  is  sought  out  among  foreign  noblesse. 
We  are  told  that  these  women  made  the  child  hardier,  that  they 
used  less  swathing  and  bandaging,  and  allowed  free  play  for  the 
limbs;  and  this,  like  all  the  Spartan  physical  training,  was  ap- 
proved of  and  admired  by  the  rest  of  the  Greek  public,  though 
its  imitation  was  never  suggested  save  in  the  unpractical  specula- 
tions of  Plato. 

Whether  they  also  approved  of  a  diet  of  marrow  and  mutton 
suet,  which  Homer,  in  the  passage  just  cited,  considers  the  lux- 
ury of  princes,  does  not  appear.  As  Homer  was  the  Greek 
Bible, —  an  inspired  book  containing  perfect  wisdom  on  all  things, 
human  and  divine, —  there  must  have  been  many  orthodox  par- 
ents who  followed  his  prescription.  But  we  hear  no  approval  or 


JOHN  PENTLAND  MAHAFFY 

censure  of  such  diet.  Possibly  marrow  may  have  represented 
our  cod-liver  oil  in  strengthening  delicate  infants.  But  as  the 
Homeric  men  fed  far  more  exclusively  on  meat  than  their  his- 
torical successors,  some  vegetable  substitute,  such  as  olive  oil, 
inust  have  been  in  use  later  on.  Even  within  our  memory, 
mutton  suet  boiled  in  milk  was  commonly  recommended  by  phy- 
sicians for  the  delicacy  now  treated  by  cod-liver  oil.  The  sup- 
posed strengthening  of  children  by  air  and  exposure,  or  by  early 
neglect  of  their  comforts,  was  as  fashionable  at  Sparta  as  it  is 
with  many  modern  theorists;  and  it  probably  led  in  both  cases 
to  the  same  result, —  the  extinction  of  the  weak  and  delicate. 
These  theorists  parade  the  cases  of  survival  of  stout  children  — 
that  is,  their  exceptional  soundness  —  as  the  effect  of  this  harsh 
treatment,  and  so  satisfy  themselves  that  experience  confirms 
their  views.  Now  with  the  Spartans  this  was  logical  enough; 
for  as  they  professed  and  desired  nothing  but  physical  results,  as 
they  despised  intellectual  qualities  and  esteemed  obedience  to  be 
the  highest  of  moral  ones,  they  were  perhaps  justified  in  their 
proceeding.  So  thoroughly  did  they  advocate  the  production  of 
healthy  citizens  for  military  purposes,  that  they  were  quite  con- 
tent that  the  sickly  should  die.  In  fact,  in  the  case  of  obviously 
weak  and  deformed  infants,  they  did  not  hesitate  to  expose  them 
in  the  most  brutal  sense, —  not  to  cold  and  draughts,  but  to  the 
wild  beasts  in  the  mountains. 

This  brings  us  to  the  first  shocking  contrast  between  the 
Greek  treatment  of  children  and  ours.  We  cannot  really  doubt, 
from  the  free  use  of  the  idea  in  Greek  tragedies,  in  the  comedies 
of  ordinary  life,  and  in  theories  of  political  economy,  that  the 
exposing  of  new-born  children  was  not  only  sanctioned  by  public 
feeling,  but  actually  practiced  throughout  Greece.  Various  mo- 
tives combined  to  justify  or  to  extenuate  this  practice.  In  the 
first  place,  the  infant  was  regarded  as  the  property  of  its  parents, 
indeed  of  its  father,  to  an  extent  inconceivable  to  most  modern 
Europeans.  The  State  only,  whose  claim  overrode  all  other  con- 
siderations, had  a  right  for  public  reasons  to  interfere  with  the 
dispositions  of  a  father.  Individual  human  life  had  not  attained 
what  may  be  called  the  exaggerated  value  derived  from  sundry 
superstitions,  which  remains  even  after  those  superstitions  have 
decayed.  And  moreover,  in  many  Greek  States,  the  contempt 
for  commercial  pursuits,  and  the  want  of  outlet  for  practical  en- 
ergy, made  the  supporting  of  large  families  cumbersome,  or  the 


JOHN  PENTLAND   MAHAFFY 

subdivision  of  patrimonies  excessive.  Hence  the  prudence  or  the 
selfishness  of  parents  did  not  hesitate  to  use  an  escape  which 
modern  civilization  condemns  as  not  only  criminal  but  as  horribly 
cruel.  How  little  even  the  noblest  Greek  theorists  felt  this  ob- 
jection appears  from  the  fact  that  Plato,  the  Attic  Moses,  sanc- 
tions infanticide  under  certain  circumstances  or  in  another  form, 
in  his  ideal  State.  In  the  genteel  comedy  it  is  often  mentioned 
as  a  somewhat  painful  necessity,  but  enjoined  by  prudence.  No- 
where does  the  agony  of  the  mother's  heart  reach  us  through 
their  literature,  save  in  one  illustration  used  by  the  Platonic 
Socrates,  where  he  compares  the  anger  of  his  pupils,  when  first 
confuted  out  of  their  prejudices,  to  the  fury  of  a  young  mother 
deprived  of  her  first  infant.  There  is  something  horrible  in  the 
very  allusion,  as  if  in  after  life  Attic  mothers  became  hardened 
to  this  treatment.  We  must  suppose  the  exposing  of  female 
infants  to  have  been  not  uncommon,  until  the  just  retribution 
of  barrenness  fell  upon  the  nation,  and  the  population  dwindled 
away  by  a  strange  atrophy. 

In  the  many  family  suits  argued  by  the  Attic  orators,  we  do 
not  (I  believe)  find  a  case  in  wrhich  a  large  family  of  children 
is  concerned.  Four  appears  a  larger  number  than  the  average. 
Marriages  between  relations  as  close  as  uncle  and  niece,  and  even 
half-brothers  and  sisters,  were  not  uncommon;  but  the  researches 
of  modern  science  have  removed  the  grounds  for  believing  that 
this  practice  would  tend  to  diminish  the  race.  It  would  certainly 
increase  any  pre-existing  tendency  to  hereditary  disease;  yet  we 
do  not  hear  of  infantile  diseases  any  more  than  we  hear  of  deli- 
cate infants.  Plagues  and  epidemics  were  common  enough;  but 
as  already  observed,  we  do  not  hear  of  measles,  or  whooping- 
cough,  or  scarlatina,  or  any  of  the  other  constant  persecutors  of 
our  nurseries. 

As  the  learning  of  foreign  languages  was  quite  beneath  the 
notions  of  the  Greek  gentleman,  who  rather  expected  all  barba- 
rians to  learn  his  language,  the  habit  of  employing  foreign  nurses, 
so  useful  and  even  necessary  to  good  modern  education,  was  well- 
nigh  unknown.  It  would  have  been  thought  a  great  misfortune 
to  any  Hellenic  child  to  be  brought  up  speaking  Thracian  or 
Egyptian.  Accordingly  foreign  slave  attendants,  with  their  strange 
accent  and  rude  manners,  were  not  allowed  to  take  charge  of 
children  till  they  were  able  to  go  to  school  and  had  learned  their 
m  other  tongue  perfectly. 


JOHN  PENTLAND  MAHAFFY 

But  the  women's  apartments,  in  which  children  were  kept  for 
the  first  few  years,  are  closed  so  completely  to  us  that  we  can 
but  conjecture  'a  few  things  about  the  life  and  care  of  Greek 
babies.  A  few  late  epigrams  tell  the  grief -of  parents  bereaved 
of  their  infants.  Beyond  this,  classical  literature  affords  us  no 
light.  The  backwardness  in  culture  of  Greek  women  leads  us  to 
suspect  that  then,  as  now,  Greek  babies  were  more  often  spoilt 
than  is  the  case  among  the  serious  northern  nations.  The  term 
<(  Spartan  mother }>  is,  however,  still  proverbial ;  and  no  doubt  in 
that  exceptional  State,  discipline  was  so  universal  and  so  highly 
esteemed  that  it  penetrated  even  to  the  nursery.  But  in  the 
rest  of  Greece,  we  may  conceive  the  young  child  arriving  at  his 
schoolboy  age  more  willful  and  headstrong  than  most  of  our 
more  watched  and  worried  infants.  Archytas  the  philosopher 
earned  special  credit  for  inventing  the  rattle,  and  saving  much 
damage  to  household  furniture  by  occupying  children  with  this 
toy. 

The  .external  circumstances  determining  a  Greek  boy's  educa- 
tion were  somewhat  different  from  ours.  We  must  remember  that 
all  old  Greek  life  —  except  in  rare  cases,  such  as  that  of  Elis,  of 
which  we  know  nothing  —  was  distinctly  town  life;  and  so,  nat- 
urally, Greek  schooling  was  day-schooling,  from  which  the  child- 
ren returned  to  the  care  of  their  parents.  To  hand  over  boys,  far 
less  girls,  to  the  charge  of  a  boarding-school,  was  perfectly  un- 
known, and  would  no  doubt  have  been  gravely  censured.  Orphans 
were  placed  under  the  care  of  their  nearest  male  relative,  even 
when  their  education  was  provided  (as  it  was  in  some  cases)  by 
the  State.  Again,  as  regards  the  age  of  going  to  school,  it  would 
naturally  be  early,  seeing  that  the  day-schools  may  well  include 
infants  of  tender  age,  and  that  in  Greek  households  neither  father 
nor  mother  was  often  able  or  disposed  to  undertake  the  educa- 
tion of  the  children.  Indeed,  we  find  it  universal  that  even 
the  knowledge  of  the  letters  and  reading  were  obtained  from  a 
schoolmaster.  All  these  circumstances  would  point  to  an  early 
beginning  of  Greek  school  life;  whereas,  on  the  other  hand,  the 
small  number  of  subjects  required  in  those  days,  the  absence  from 
the  programme  of  various  languages,  of  most  exact  sciences,  and 
of  general  history  and  geography,  made  it  unnecessary  to  begin 
so  early,  or  work  so  hard,  as  our  unfortunate  children  have  to 
do.  Above  all,  there  were  no  competitive  examinations,  except  in 
athletics  and  music.  The  Greeks  never  thought  of  promoting  a 


JOHN  PENTLAND  MAHAFFY 

man  for  <(dead  knowledge, J>  but  for  his  living  grasp  of  science 
or  of  life. 

Owing  to  these  causes,  we  find  the  theorists  discussing,  as  they 
now  do,  the  expediency  of  waiting  till  the  age  of  seven  before 
beginning  serious  education:  some  advising  it,  others  recommend- 
ing easy  and  half-playing  lessons  from  an  earlier  period.  And 
then,  as  now,  we  find  the  same  curious  silence  on  the  really 
important  fact  that  the  exact  number  of  years  a  child  has  lived 
is  nothing  to  the  point  in  question;  and  that  while  one  child 
may  be  too  young  at  seven  to  commence  work,  many  more  may 
be  distinctively  too  old. 

At  all  events,  we  may  assume  in  parents  the  same  varieties 
of  over-anxiety,  of  over-indulgence,  of  nervousness,  and  of  care- 
lessness, about  their  children;  and  so  it  doubtless  came  to  pass 
that  there  was  in  many  cases  a  gap  between  infancy  and  school 
life  which  was  spent  in  playing  and  doing  mischief.  This  may 
be  fairly  inferred,  not  only  from  such  anecdotes  as  that  of  Alci- 
biades  playing  with  his  fellows  in  the  street,  evidently  without 
the  protection  of  any  pedagogue,  but  also  from  the  large  nomen- 
clature of  boys'  games  preserved  to  us  in  the  glossaries  of  later 
grammarians. 

These  games  are  quite  distinct  from  the  regular  exercises  in 
the  palaestra.  We  have  only  general  descriptions  of  them,  and 
these  either  by  Greek  scholiasts  or  by  modern  philologists.  But 
in  spite  of  the  sad  want  of  practical  knowledge  of  games  shown 
by  both,  the  instincts  of  boyhood  are  so  uniform  that  we  can 
often  frame  a  very  distinct  idea  of  the  sort  of  amusement  popu- 
lar among  Greek  children.  For  young  boys,  games  can  hardly 
consist  of  anything  else  than  either  the  practicing  of  some  bodily 
dexterity,  such  as  hopping  on  one  foot  higher  or  longer  than 
is  easy,  or  throwing  further  with  a  stone;  or  else  some  imitation 
of  war,  such  as  snowballing,  or  pulling  a  rope  across  a  line,  or 
pursuing  under  fixed  conditions;  or  lastly,  the  practice  of  some 
mechanical  ingenuity,  such  as  whipping  a  top  or.  shooting  with 
marbles.  So  far  as  climate  or  mechanical  inventions  have  not 
altered  our  little  boys'  games,  we  find  all  these  principles  rep- 
resented in  Greek  games.  There  was  the  hobby  or  cock  horse 
(kdlamon,  parab$nai);  standing  or  hopping  on  one  leg  (askolidzeiri), 
which,  as  the  word  askos  implies,  was  attempted  on  a  skin  bottle 
filled  with  liquid  and  greased;  blindman's  buff  (chalke  muia,  lit- 
erally <(  brazen  fly"),  in  which  the  boy  cried,  (<  I  am  hunting  a 


JOHN  PENTLAND  MAHAFFY 

brazen  fly, )J  and  the  rest  answered,  <(  You  will  not  catch  it ; }) 
games  of  hide-and-seek,  of  taking-  and  releasing  prisoners,  of  fool 
in  the  middle,  of  playing  at  king:  in  fact,  there  is  probably  no 
simple  child's  game  now  known  which  was  not  then  in  use. 

A  few  more  details  may,  however,  be  interesting.  There  was 
a  game  called  kyndalismos  [Drive  the  peg],  in  which  the  kyndalon 
was  a  peg  of  wood  with  a  heavy  end  sharpened,  which  boys 
sought  to  strike  into  a  softened  place  in  the  earth  so  that  it  stood 
upright  and  knocked  out  the  peg  of  a  rival.  This  reminds  us  of 
the  peg-top  splitting  which  still  goes  on  in  our  streets.  Another, 
called  ostrakinda,  consisted  of  tossing  an  oyster  shell  in  the  air, 
of  which  one  side  was  blackened  or  moistened  and  called  night, 
the  other,  day, —  or  sun  and  rain.  The  boys  were  divided  into 
two  sides  with  these  names;  and  according  as  their  side  of  the 
shell  turned  up,  they  pursued  and  took  prisoners  their  adversaries. 
On  the  other  hand,  epostrakismos  was  making  a  shell  skip  along 
the  surface  of  water  by  a  horizontal  throw,  and  winning  by  the 
greatest  number  of  skips.  Eis  omillan  [At  strife],  though  a  gen- 
eral expression  for  any  contest,  was  specially  applied  to  tossing 
a  knuckle-bone  or  smooth  stone  so  as  to  lie  in  the  centre  of  a 
fixed  circle,  and  to  disturb  those  which  were  already  in  good 
positions.  This  was  also  done  into  a  small  hole  (tropd).  They 
seem  to  have  shot  dried  beans  from  their  fingers  as  we  do  mar- 
bles. They  spun  coins  on  their  edge  (chalkismds)  [game  of  cop- 
pers]. 

Here  are  two  games  not  perhaps  so  universal  nowadays: 
pentalithizein  [Fives,  Jackstones]  was  a  technical  word  for  toss- 
ing up  five  pebbles  or  astragali,  and  receiving  them  so  as  to 
make  them  lie  on  the  back  of  the  hand.  Meloldnthe,  or  the 
beetle  game,  consists  in  flying  a  beetle  by  a  long  thread,  and 
guiding  him  like  a  kite;  but  by  way  of  improvement  they  at- 
tached a  waxed  splinter,  lighted,  to  his  tail, —  and  this  cruelty  is 
now  practiced,  according  to  a  good  authority  (Papasliotis) ,  in 
Greece,  and  has  even  been  known  to  cause  serious  fires.  Tops 
were  known  under  various  names  (bembix,  strdmbos,  strobilos), 
one  of  them  certainly  a  humming-top.  So  were  hoops  (trochoi). 

Ball-playing  was  ancient  and  diffused,  even  among  the  Ho- 
meric heroes.  But  as  it  was  found  very  fashionable  and  care- 
fully practiced  by  both  Mexicans  and  Peruvians  at  the  time  of 
the  conquest,  it  is  probably  common  to  all  civilized  races.  We 
have  no  details  left  us  of  complicated  games  with  balls;  and  the 


JOHN  PENTLAND  MAHAFFY 

mere  throwing  them  up  and  catching  them  one  from  the  other, 
with  some  rhythmic  motion,  is  hardly  worth  all  the  poetic  fervor 
shown  about  this  game  by  the  Greeks.  But  possibly  the  musical 
and  dancing  accompaniments  were  very  important,  in  the  case  of 
grown  people  and  in  historical  times.  Pollux,  however, —  our 
main  authority  for  most  of  these  games, —  in  one  place  distinctly 
describes  both  football  and  hand-ball.  <(  The  names, w  he  says,  (<  of 
games  with  balls  are  —  episkyros,  phaininda,  aporraxis,  ourania. 
The  first  is  played  by  two  even  sides,  who  draw  a  line  in  the 
centre  which  they  call  skyros,  on  which  they  place  the  ball. 
They  draw  two  other  lines  behind  each  side;  and  those  who  first 
reach  the  ball  throw  it  (rhiptousiri)  over  the  opponents,  whose 
duty  it  is  to  catch  it  and  return  it,  until  one  side  drives  the 
other  back  over  their  goal  line."  Though  Pollux  makes  no  men- 
tion of  kicking,  this  game  is  evidently  our  football  in  substance. 
He  proceeds:  * Phaininda  was  called  either  from  Phainindes,  the 
first  discoverer,  or  from  pkenakizein  [to  play  tricks], w  etc., —  we 
need  not  follow  his  etymologies;  ((  and  aporraxis  consists  of  mak- 
ing a  ball  bound  off  the  ground,  and  sending  it  against  a  wall, 
counting  the  number  of  hops  according  as  it  was  returned.  *'  And 
as  if  to  make  the  anticipations  of  our  games  more  curiously  com- 
plete, there  is  cited  from  the  history  of  Manuel,  by  the  Byzantine 
Cinnamus  (A.  D.  1200),  a  clear  description  of  the  Canadian  la- 
crosse, a  sort  of  hockey  played  with  racquets:  — 

(C  Certain  youths,  divided  equally,  leave  in  a  level  place,  which 
they  have  before  prepared  and  measured,  a  ball  made  of  leather, 
about  the  size  of  an  apple,  and  rush  at  it,  as  if  it  were  a  prize  lying 
in  the  middle,  from  their  fixed  starting-point  [a  goal].  Each  of  them 
has  in  his  right  hand  a  racquet  (rhdbdon)  [wand,  staff]  of  suitable 
length,  ending  in  a  sort  of  flat  bend,  the  middle  of  which  is  occupied 
by  gut  strings  dried  by  seasoning,  and  plaited  together  in  net  fash- 
ion. Each  side  strives  to  be  the  first  to  bring  it  to  ttie  opposite  end 
of  the  ground  from  that  allotted  to  them.  Whenever  the  ball  is 
driven  by  the  racquets  (rhdbdoi}  to  the  end  of  the  ground,  it  counts 
as  a  victory. >J 

Two  games  which  were  not  confined  to  children  —  and  which 
are  not  widely  diffused,  though  they  exist  among  us  —  are  the  use 
of  astragali,  or  knuckle-bones  of  animals,  cut  so  nearly  square  as 
to  serve  for  dice;  and  with  these  children  threw  for  luck,  the 
highest  throw  (sixes)  being  accounted  the  best.  In  later  Greek 
art,  representations  of  Eros  and  other  youthful  figures  engaged 


JOHN   PENTLAND   MAHAFFY 

with  astragali  are  frequent.  It  is  to  be  feared  that  this  game 
was  an  introduction  to  dice-playing,  which  was  so  common,  and 
so  often  abused  that  among  the  few  specimens  of  ancient  dice 
remaining,  there  are  some  false  and  some  which  were  evidently 
loaded.  The  other  game  to  which  I  allude  is  the  Italian  morra, 
the  guessing  instantaneously  how  many  fingers  are  thrown  up  by 
the  player  and  his  adversary.  It  is  surprising  how  fond  southern 
men  and  boys  still  are  of  this  simple  game,  chiefly  however  for 
gambling  purposes. 

There  was  tossing  in  a  blanket,  walking  on  stilts,  swinging, 
leap-frog,  and  many  other  similar  plays,  which  are  ill  understood 
and  worse  explained  by  the  learned,  and  of  no  importance  to 
us,  save  as  proving  the  general  similarity  of  the  life  of  little  boys 
then  and  now. 

We  know  nothing  about  the  condition  of  little  girls  of  the 
same  age,  except  that  they  specially  indulged  in  ball-playing. 
Like  our  own  children,  the  girls  probably  joined  to  a  lesser 
degree  in  the  boys'  games,  and  only  so  far  as  they  could  be 
carried  on  within  doors,  in  the  court  of  the  house.  There  are 
graceful  representations  of  their  swinging  and  practicing  our  see- 
saw. Dolls  they  had  in  plenty,  and  doll-making  (of  clay)  was 
quite  a  special  trade  at  Athens.  In  more  than  one  instance  we 
have  found  in  children's  graves  their  favorite  dolls,  which  sorrow- 
ing parents  laid  with  them  as  a  S':>rt  of  keepsake  in  the  tomb. 

Most  unfortunately  there  is  hardly  a  word  left  of  the  nursery 
rhymes,  and  of  the  folk-lore,  which  are  very  much  more  inter- 
esting than  the  physical  amusements  of  children.  Yet  we  know 
that  such  popular  songs  existed  in  plenty;  we  know  too,  from 
the  early  fame  of  ^Esop's  fables,  from  the  myths  so  readily 
invented  and  exquisitely  told  by  Plato,  that  here  we  have  lost  a 
real  fund  of  beautiful  and  stimulating  children's  stories.  And  of 
course,  here  too  the  general  character  of  such  stories  throughout 
the  human  race  was  preserved. 


ALFRED  THAYER  MAHAN 

(1840-1914) 

[HE  power  of  genius  to  discover  new  relations  between  famil- 
iar facts  is  strikingly  exemplified  in  Admiral  Alfred  Thayer 
Mahan's  studies  of  the  influence  of  sea  power  upon  history. 
The  data  cited  in  his  works  are  common  literary  property;  but  the 
conclusions  drawn  from  them  are  a  distinct  contribution  to  historical 
science.  Admiral  Mahan  was  the  first  writer  to  demonstrate  the  deter- 
mining force  which  maritime  strength  has  exercised  upon  the  fortunes  of 
individual  nations,  and  consequently  upon  the  course  of  general  history. 

Technically,  one  of  his  representative  works,  the  (Influence  of  Sea 
Power  upon  History,)  is  but  a  naval  history  of  Europe  from  the  re- 
storation of  the  Stuarts  to  the  end  of  the  American  Revolution.  But 
the  freedom  with  which  it  digresses  on  general  questions  of  naval  policy 
and  strategy,  the  attention  which  it  pays  to  the  relation  of  cause  and 
effect  between  maritime  events  and  international  politics,  and  the 
author's  literary  method  of  treatment,  place  this  work  outside  the  class 
of  strictly  professional  writings,  and  entitle  it  already  to  be  regarded 
as  an  American  classic.  In  Europe  as  well  as  in  America,  it  has  been 
recognized  as  an  epoch-making  work  in  the  field  of  naval  history. 

The  contents  of  Admiral  Mahan's  great  studies  of  naval  history 
were  originally  given  forth  in  a  course  of  lectures  delivered  before 
the  Naval  War  College  at  Newport,  Rhode  Island;  and  Admiral  Ma- 
han's prime  object,  in  establishing  the  thesis  that  maritime  strength 
is  a  determining  factor  in  the  prosperity  of  nations,  was  to  reinforce 
his  argument  that  the  future  interests  of  the  United  States  require  a 
departure  from  the  traditional  American  policy  of  neglect  of  naval- 
military  affairs.  Admiral  Mahan  has  maintained  that,  as  openings  to 
immigration  and  enterprise  in  North  America  and  Australia  diminish, 
a  demand  will  arise  for  a  more  settled  government  in  the  disordered 
semi-barbarous  states  of  Central  and  South  America.  He  lays  down 
the  proposition  that  stability  of  institutions  is  necessary  to  commer- 
cial intercourse;  and  that  a  demand  for  such  stability  can  hardly 
be  met  without  the  intervention  of  interested  civilized  nations.  Thus 
international  complications  may  be  fairly  anticipated;  and  the  date 
of  their  advent  will  be  precipitated  by  the  completion  of  a  canal 
through  the  Central-American  isthmus.  The  strategic  conditions  of 
the  Mediterranean  will  be  reproduced  in  the  Caribbean  Sea,  and  in 
the'  international  struggle  for  the  control  of  the  new  highway  of 
commerce  the  United  States  will  have  the  advantage  of  geographical 


ALFRED    THAYER    MAHAN  9581 

position.  He  points  out  that  the  carrying  trade  of  the  United  States 
is  at  present  insignificant,  only  because  the  opening  of  the  West 
since  the  Civil  War  has  made  maritime  undertakings  less  profitable 
than  the  development  of  the  internal  resources  of  the  country.  It  is 
thus  shown  to  be  merely  a  question  of  time  when  American  capital 
will  again  seek  the  ocean;  and  Admiral  Mahan  urges  that  the  United 
States  should  seek  to  guard  the  interests  of  the  future  by  building 
up  a  strong  military  navy,  and  fortifying  harbors  commanding  the 
Gulf  of  Mexico  and  the  Caribbean  Sea. 

Admiral  Mahan's  biography  was  simple  and  professional.  He  was 
born  September  27th,  1840.  A  graduate  of  the  U.  S.  Naval  Academy, 
he  served  in  the  Union  navy  as  a  lieutenant  throughout  the  Civil 
War,  and  was  president  of  the  Naval  War  College  from  1886  to  1889 
and  from  1890  to  1893.  In  1896  he  retired  from  active  service  but  was 
a  member  of  the  Naval  Board  of  Strategy  during  the  war  between 
Spain  and  the  United  States.  He  was  made  rear-admiral  in  1906.  He 
became  a  voluminous  writer  on  his  peculiar  subject  or  its  closely  kindred 
topics.  Besides  the  work  already  mentioned,  his  writings  include 
(The  Gulf  and  Inland  Waters)  (1883);  (Life  of  Admiral  Farragut) 
(1892);  (Influence  of  Sea  Power  upon  the  French  Revolution  and 
Empire)  (1892),  a  continuation  of  the  (Influence  of  Sea  Power  upon 
History);  (The  Life  of  Nelson,  the  Embodiment  of  the  Sea  Power  of 
Great  Britain)  (1897);  (Sea  Power  in  its  Relation  to  the  War  of  1812) 
(1905);  (From  Sail  to  Steam)  (1907);  (The  Interest  of  America  in  Inter- 
national Conditions)  (1910);  (Naval  Strategy)  (1911);  and  (Arma- 
ments and  Arbitration)  (1912).  His  other  books  may  be  regarded  as 
supplements  and  continuations  of  the  new  interpretation  of  history 
set  forth  in  his  (Influence  of  Sea  Power  upon  History.)  He  died  in 
1914  before  he  could  witness  for  himself  the  supreme  test  to  which  the 
Great  War  was  to  put  his  theories  and  prophecies. 


THE   IMPORTANCE   OF  CRUISERS  AND  OF  STRONG   FLEETS 

IN  WAR 

From  <The  Influence  of  Sea  Power  upon  History,  1660-1783. >  Copyright  1890, 
by  Captain  A.  T.  Mahan.  Reprinted  by  permission  of  the  author,  and 
of  Little,  Brown  &  Co.,  publishers. 

THE    English,   notwithstanding    their    heavy   loss    in    the    Four 
Days'    Battle,  were   at   sea  again   within  two  months,  much 
to    the    surprise    of   the    Dutch;   and   on    the  4th  of  August 
another   severe  fight  was  fought  off  the   North   Foreland,   ending 
in   the   complete    defeat   of   the   latter,  who   retired   to  their  own 
coasts.      The    English    followed,    and    effected    an    entrance    into 


9582 


ALFRED   THAYER   MAHAN 


one  of  the  Dutch  harbors,  where  they  destroyed  a  large  fleet 
of  merchantmen  as  well  as  a  town  of  some  importance.  Toward 
the  end  of  1666  both  sides  [England  and  Holland]  were  tired 
of  the  war,  which  was  doing  great  harm  to  trade,  and  weaken- 
ing both  navies  to  the  advantage  of  the  growing  sea  power  of 
France.  Negotiations  looking  toward  peace  were  opened;  but 
Charles  II.,  ill  disposed  to  the  United  Provinces,  confident  that 
the  growing  pretensions  of  Louis  XIV.  to  the  Spanish  Nether- 
lands would  break  up  the  existing  alliance  between  Holland  and 
France,  and  relying  also  upon  the  severe  reverses  suffered  at  sea 
by  the  Dutch,  was  exacting  and  haughty  in  his  demands.  To 
justify  and  maintain  this  line  of  conduct  he  should  have  kept 
up  his  fleet,  the  prestige  of  which  had  been  so  advanced  by  its 
victories.  Instead  of  that,  poverty,  the  result  of  extravagance 
and  of  his  home  policy,  led  him  to  permit  it  to  decline ;  ships  in 
large  numbers  were  laid  up;  and  he  readily  adopted  an  opinion 
which  chimed  in  with  his  penury,  and  which,  as  it  has  had  advo- 
cates at  all  periods  of  sea  history,  should  be  noted  and  con- 
demned here.  This  opinion,  warmly  opposed  by  Monk,  was:  — 

(<That  as  the  Dutch  were  chiefly  supported  by  trade,  as  the  sup 
ply  of  their  navy  depended  upon  trade,  and  as  experience  showed, 
nothing  provoked  the  people  so  much  as  injuring  their  trade,  his 
Majesty  should  therefore  apply  himself  to  this,  which  would  effectu- 
ally humble  them,  at  the  same  time  that  it  would  less  exhaust  the 
English  than  fitting  out  such  mighty  fleets  as  had  hitherto  kept  the 
sea  every  summer.  .  .  .  Upon  these  motives  the  King  took  a 
fatal  resolution  of  laying  up  his  great  ships,  and  keeping  only  a  few 
frigates  on  the  cruise. » 

In  consequence  of  this  economical  theory  of  carrying  on  a 
war,  the  Grand  Pensionary  of  Holland,  De  Witt,  who  had  the 
year  before  caused  soundings  of  the  Thames  to  be  made,  sent 
into  the  river,  under  De  Ruyter,  a  force  of  sixty  or  seventy  ships 
of  the  line,  which  on  the  i4th  of  June,  1667,  went  up  as  high 
as  Gravesend,  destroying  ships  at  Chatham  and  in  the  Medway, 
and  taking  possession  of  Sheerness.  The  light  of  the  fires  could 
be  seen  from  London;  and  the  Dutch  fleet  remained  in  possession 
of  the  mouth  of  the  river  until  the  end  of  the  month.  Under 
this  blow,  following  as  it  did  upon  the  great  plague  and  the 
great  fire  of  London,  Charles  consented  to  peace,  which  was 
signed  July  3ist,  1667,  and  is  known  as  the  Peace  of  Breda.  The 
most  lasting  result  of  the  war  was  the  transfer  of  New  York  and 


ALFRED  THAYER  MAHAN  9583 

New  Jersey  to  England,  thus  joining  her  northern  and  southern 
colonies  in  North  America. 

Before  going  on  again  with  the  general  course  of  the  history 
of  the  times,  it  will  be  well  to  consider  for  a  moment  the  theory 
which  worked  so  disastrously  for  England  in  1667;  that,  namely, 
of  maintaining  a  sea  war  mainly  by  preying  upon  the  enemy's 
commerce.  This  plan,  which  involves  only  the  maintenance  of  a 
few  swift  cruisers  and  can  be  backed  by  the  spirit  of  greed  in  a 
nation,  fitting  out  privateers  without  direct  expense  to  the  State, 
possesses  the  specious  attractions  which  economy  always  presents. 
The  great  injury  done  to  the  wealth  and  prosperity  of  the  enemy 
is  also  undeniable ;  and  although '  to  some  extent  his  merchant 
ships  can  shelter  themselves  ignobly  under  a  foreign  flag  while 
the  war  lasts,  this  guerre  de  course,  as  the  French  call  it, — this 
commerce-destroying,  to  use  our  own  phrase, —  must,  if  in  itself 
successful,  greatly  embarrass  the  foreign  government  and  distress 
its  people.  Such  a  war,  however,  cannot  stand  alone:  it  must  be 
supported,  to  use  the  military  phrase;  unsubstantial  and  evanes- 
cent in  itself,  it  cannot  reach  far  from  its  base.  That  base  must 
be  either  home  ports  or  else  some  solid  outpost  of  the  national 
power  on  the  shore  or  the  sea;  a  distant  dependency  or  a 
powerful  fleet.  Failing  such  support,  the  cruiser  can  only  dash 
out  hurriedly  a  short  distance  from  home;  and  its  blows,  though 
painful,  cannot  be  fatal.  It  was  not  the  policy  of  1667,  but 
Cromwell's  powerful  fleets  of  ships  of  the  line  in  1652,  that  shut 
the  Dutch  merchantmen  in  their  ports  and  caused  the  grass  to 
grow  in  the  streets  of  Amsterdam.  When,  instructed  by  the  suffer- 
ing of  that  time,  the  Dutch  kept  large  fleets  afloat  through  two 
exhausting  wars,  though  their  commerce  suffered  greatly,  they 
bore  up  the  burden  of  the  strife  against  England  and  France 
united.  Forty  years  later,  Louis  XIV.  was  driven  by  exhaustion 
to  the  policy  adopted  by  Charles  II.  through  parsimony.  Then 
were  the  days  of  the  great  French  privateers, —  Jean  Bart,  For- 
bin,  Duguay-Trouin,  Du  Casse,  and  others.  The  regular  fleets  of 
the  French  navy  were  practically  withdrawn  from  the  ocean  dur- 
ing the  great  War  of  the  Spanish  Succession  (1702-1712).  The 
French  naval  historian  says:  — 

(<  Unable  to  renew  the  naval  armaments,  Louis  XIV.  increased  the 
number  of  cruisers  lipon  the  more  frequented  seas,  especially  the 
Channel  and  the  German  Ocean  [not  far  from  home,  it  will  be  noticed]. 


95^4 


ALFRED  THAYER  MAHAN 


In  these  different  spots  the  cruisers  were  always  in  a  position  to  inter- 
cept or  hinder  the  movements  of  transports  laden  with  troops,  and  of 
the  numerous  convoys  carrying  supplies  of  all  kinds.  In  these  seas, 
in  the  centre  of  the  commercial  and  political  world,  there  is  always 
work  for  cruisers.  Notwithstanding  the  difficulties  they  met,  owing 
to  the  absence  of  large  friendly  fleets,  they  served  advantageously  the 
cause  of  the  two  peoples  [French  and  Spanish].  These  cruisers,  in 
the  face  of  the  Anglo-Dutch  power,  needed  good  luck,  boldness,  and 
skill.  These  three  conditions  were  not  lacking  to  our  seamen;  but 
then,  what  chiefs  and  what  captains  they  had ! }> 

The  English  historian,  on  the  other  hand,  while  admitting 
how  severely  the  people  and  commerce  of  England  suffered  from 
the  cruisers,  bitterly  reflecting  at  times  upon  the  administration, 
yet  refers  over  and  over  again  to  the  increasing  prosperity  of 
the  whole  country,  and  especially  of  its  commercial  part.  In  the 
preceding  war,  on  the  contrary,  from  1689  to  1697,  when  France 
sent  great  fleets  to  sea  and  disputed  the  supremacy  of  the  ocean, 
how  different  the  result!  The  same  English  writer  says  of  that 
time :  — 

(<With  respect  to  our  trade,  it  is  certain  that  we  suffered  infinitely 
more,  not  merely  than  the  French,  for  that  was  to  be  expected  from 
the  greater  number  of  our  merchant  ships,  but  than  we  ever  did  in 
any  former  war.  .  .  .  This  proceeded  in  great  measure  from  the 
vigilance  of  the  French,  who  carried  on  the  war  in  a  piratical  way. 
It  is  out  of  all  doubt  that,  taking  all  together,  our  traffic  suffered 
excessively;  our  merchants  were  many  of  them  ruined. » 

Macaulay  says  of  this  period:  (<  During  many  months  of  1693 
the  English  trade  with  the  Mediterranean  had  been  interrupted 
almost  entirely.  There  was  no  chance  that  a  merchantman 
from  London  or  Amsterdam  would,  if  unprotected,  reach  the  Pil- 
lars of  Hercules  without  being  boarded  by  a  French  privateer; 
and  the  protection  of  armed  vessels  was  not  easily  obtained. }) 
Why?  Because  the  vessels  of  England's  navy  were  occupied 
watching  the  French  navy,  and  this  diversion  of  them  from  the 
cruisers  and  privateers  constituted  the  support  which  a  commerce- 
destroying  war  must  have.  A  French  historian,  speaking  of  the 
same  period  in  England  (1696),  says:  <(  The  state  of  the  finances 
was  deplorable:  money  was  scarce,  maritime  insurance  thirty 
per  cent.,  the  Navigation  Act  was  virtually  suspended,  and  the 
English  shipping  reduced  to  the  necessity  of  sailing  under  the 
Swedish  and  Danish  flags. w  Half  a  century  later  the  French 


ALFRED  THAYER  MAHAN 


9585 


government  was  again  reduced,  by  long  neglect  of  the  navy,  to 
a  cruising  warfare.  With  what  results?  First,  the  French  his- 
torian says:  <(  From  June  1756  to  June  1760,  French  privateers 
captured  from  the  English  more  than  twenty-five  hundred  mer- 
chantmen. In  1761,  though  France  had  not,  so  to  speak,  a  single 
ship  of  the  line  at  sea,  and  though  the  English  had  taken  two 
hundred  and  forty  of  our  privateers,  their  comrades  still  took 
eight  hundred  and  twelve  vessels.  But,"  he  goes  on  to  say, 
(<the  prodigious  growth  of  the  English  shipping  explains  the 
number  of  these  prizes. })  In  other  words,  the  suffering  involved 
to  England  in  such  numerous  captures,  which  must  have  caused 
great  individual  injury  and  discontent,  did  not  really  prevent  the 
growing  prosperity  of  the  State  and  of  the  community  at  large. 
The  English  naval  historian,  speaking  of  the  same  period,  says: 
<(  While  the  commerce  of  France  was  nearly  destroyed,  the  trad- 
ing fleet  of  England  covered  the  seas.  Every  year  her  com- 
merce was  increasing;  the  money  which  the  war  carried  out  was 
returned  by  the  produce  of  her  industry.  Eight  thousand  mer- 
chant vessels  were  employed  by  the  English  merchants. }>  And 
again,  summing  up  the  results  of  the  war,  after  stating  the 
immense  amount  of  specie  brought  into  the  kingdom  by  foreign 
conquests,  he  says:  <(The  trade  of  England  increased  gradually 
every  year;  and  such  a  scene  of  national  prosperity,  while  waging 
a  long,  bloody,  and  costly  war,  was  never  before  shown  by  any 
people  in  the  world. w 

On  the  other  hand,  the  historian  of  the  French  navy,  speaking 
of  an  earlier  phase  of  the  same  wars,  says:  (<The  English  fleets, 
having  nothing  to  resist  them,  swept  the  seas.  Our  privateers 
and  single  cruisers,  having  no  fleet  to  keep  down  the  abundance 
of  their  enemies,  ran  short  careers.  Twenty  thousand  French 
seamen  lay  in  English  prisons.  When,  on  the  other  hand,  in 
the  War  of  the  American  Revolution,  France  resumed  the  policy 
of  Colbert  and  of  the  early  reign  of  Louis  XIV.,  and  kept  large 
battle  fleets  afloat,  the  same  result  again  followed  as  in  the  days 
of  Tourville."  (<  For  the  first  time,"  says  the  Annual  Register,  for- 
getting or  ignorant  of  the  experience  of  1693,  and  remembering 
only  the  glories  of  the  later  wars,  <(  English  merchant  ships  were 
driven  to  take  refuge  under  foreign  flags. })  Finally,  in  quitting 
this  part  of  the  subject,  it  may  be  remarked  that  in  the  Island  of 
Martinique  the  French  had  a  powerful  distant  dependency  upon 
which  to  base  a  cruising  warfare;  and  during  the  Seven  Years' 


95 86  ALFRED  THAYER  MAHAN 

War,  as  afterward  during  the  First  Empire,  it,  with  Guadaloupe, 
was  the  refuge  of  numerous  privateers.  <(The  records  of  the 
English  admiralty  raise  the  losses  of  the  English  in  the  West 
Indies  during  the  first  years  of  the  Seven  Years'  War  to  four- 
teen hundred  merchantmen  taken  or  destroyed. })  The  English 
fleet  was  therefore  directed  against  the  islands,  both  of  which 
fell,  involving  a  loss  to  the  trade  of  France  greater  than  all  the 
depredations  of  her  cruisers  on  the  English  commerce,  besides 
breaking  up  the  system;  but  in  the  war  of  1778  the  great  fleets 
protected  the  islands,  which  were  not  even  threatened  at  any 
time. 

So  far  we  have  been  viewing  the  effect  of  a  purely  cruis- 
ing warfare,  not  based  upon  powerful  squadrons,  only  upon  that 
particular  part  of  the  enemy's  strength  against  which  it  is  theo- 
retically directed, — upon  his  commerce  and  general  wealth,  upon 
the  sinews  of  war.  The  evidence  seems  to  show  that  even  for  its 
own  special  ends  such  a  mode  of  war  is  inconclusive, —  worrying 
but  not  deadly;  it  might  almost  be  said  that  it  causes  needless 
suffering.  What,  however,  is  the  effect  of  this  policy  upon  the 
general  ends  of  the  war,  to  which  it  is  one  of  the  means  and  to 
which  it  is  subsidiary  ?  How,  again,  does  it  react  upon  the  people 
that  practice  it  ?  As  the  historical  evidences  will  come  up  in 
detail  from  time  to  time,  it  need  here  only  be  summarized. 

The  result  to  England  in  the  days  of  Charles  II.  has  been 
seen, —  her  coast  insulted,  her  shipping  burned  almost  within 
sight  of  her  capital.  In  the  War  of  the  Spanish  Succession, 
when  the  control  of  Spain  was  the  military  object,  while  the 
French  depended  upon  a  cruising  war  against  commerce,  the 
navies  of  England  and  Holland,  unopposed,  guarded  the  coasts 
of  the  peninsula,  blocked  the  port  of  Toulon,  forced  the  French 
succors  to  cross  the  Pyrenees,  and  by  keeping  open  the  sea  high- 
way, neutralized  the  geographical  nearness  of  France  to  the  seat 
of  war.  Their  fleets  seized  Gibraltar,  Barcelona,  and  Minorca; 
and  co-operating  with  the  Austrian  army,  failed  by  little  of  .redu- 
cing Toulon.  In  the  Seven  Years'  War  the  English  fleets  seized, 
or  aided  in  seizing,  all  the  most  valuable  colonies  of  France  and 
Spain,  and  made  frequent  descents  on  the  French  coast. 

The  War  of  the  American  Revolution  affords  no  lesson,  the 
fleets  being  nearly  equal.  The  next  most  striking  instance  to 
Americans  is  the  War  of  1812.  Everybody  knows  how  our  pri- 
vateers swarmed  over  the  seas;  and  that  from  the  smallness  of 


ALFRED  THAYER  MAHAN  9587 

our  navy  the  war  was  essentially,  indeed  solely,  a  cruising-  war. 
Except  upon  the  lakes,  it  is  doubtful  if  more  than  two  of  our 
ships  at  any  time  acted  together.  The  injury  done  to  English 
commerce,  thus  unexpectedly  attacked  by  a  distant  foe  which  had 
been  undervalued,  may  be  fully  conceded;  but  on  the  one  hand, 
the  American  cruisers  were  powerfully  supported  by  the  French 
fleet,  which,  being  assembled  in  larger  or  smaller  bodies  in  the 
many  ports  under  the  Emperor's  control  from  Antwerp  to  Venice, 
tied  the  fleets  of  England  to  blockade  duty;  and  on  the  other 
hand,  when-  the  fall  of  the  Emperor  released  them,  our  coasts 
were  insulted  in  every  direction,  the  Chesapeake  entered  and  con- 
trolled, its  shores  wasted,  the  Potomac  ascended,  and  Washington 
burned.  The  Northern  frontier  was  kept  in  a  state  of  alarm, 
though  there,  squadrons  absolutely  weak  but  relatively  strong 
sustained  the  general  defense;  while  in  the  South  the  Mississippi 
was  entered  unopposed,  and  New  Orleans  barely  saved.  When 
negotiations  for  peace  were  opened,  the  bearing  of  the  English 
toward  the  American  envoys  was  not  that  of  men  who  felt  their 
country  to  be  threatened  with  an  unbearable  evil. 

The  late  Civil  War,  with  the  cruises  of  the  Alabama  and 
Sumter  and  their  consorts,  revived  the  tradition  of  commerce- 
destroying.  In  so  far  as  this  is  one  means  to  a  general  end,  and 
is  based  upon  a  navy  otherwise  powerful,  it  is  well;  but  we  need 
not  expect  to  see  the  feats  of  those  ships  repeated  in  the  face  of 
a  great  sea  power.  In  the  first  place,  those  cruises  were  power- 
fully supported  by  the  determination  of  the  United  States  to 
blockade,  not  only  the  chief  centres  of  Southern  trade,  but  every 
inlet  of  the  coast,  thus  leaving  few  ships  available  for  pursuit; 
in  the  second  place,  had  there  been  ten  of  those  cruisers  where 
there  was  one,  they  would  not  have  stopped  the  incursion  in 
Southern  waters  of  the  Union  fleet,  which  penetrated  to  every 
point  accessible  from  the  sea;  and  in  the  third  place,  the  un- 
deniable injury,  direct  and  indirect,  inflicted  upon  individuals 
and  upon  one  branch  of  the  nation's  industry  (and  how  high  that 
shipping  industry  stands  in  the  writer's  estimation  need  not  be 
repeated),  did  not  in  the  least  influence  or  retard  the  event  of 
the  war.  Such  injuries,  unaccompanied  by  others,  are  more  irri- 
tating than  weakening.  On  the  other  hand,  will  any  refuse  to 
admit  that  the  work  of  the  great  Union  fleets  powerfully  modified 
and  hastened  an  end  which  was  probably  inevitable  in  any  case  ? 
As  a  sea  power  the  South  then  occupied  the  place  of  France  in 


9588 


ALFRED  THAYER  MAHAN 


the  wars  we  have  been  considering1,  while  the  situation  of  the 
North  resembled  that  of  England;  and  as  in  France,  the  suffer- 
ers in  the  Confederacy  were  not  a  class,  but  the  government  and 
the  nation  at  large. 

It  is  not  the  taking  of  individual  ships  or  convoys,  be  they 
few  or  many,  that  strikes  down  the  money  power  of  a  nation:  it 
is  the  possession  of  that  overbearing  power  on  the  sea  which 
drives  the  enemy's  flag  from  it,  or  allows  it  to  appear  only  as  a 
fugitive;  and  which,  by  controlling  the  great  common,  closes  the 
highways  by  which  commerce  moves  to  and  from  the  enemy's 
shores.  This  overbearing  power  can  only  be  exercised  by  great 
navies;  and  by  them  (on  the  broad  sea)  less  efficiently  now  than 
in  the  days  when  the  neutral  flag  had  not  its  present  immunity. 
It  is  not  unlikely  that  in  the  event  of  a  war  between  maritime 
nations,  an  attempt  may  be  made  by  the  one  having  a  great 
sea  power,  and  wishing  to  break  down  its  enemy's  commerce,  to 
interpret  the  phrase  <(  effective  blockade w  in  the  manner  that 
best  suits  its  interests  at  the  time;  to  assert  that  the  speed  and 
disposal  of  its  ships  make  the  blockade  .effective  at  much  greater 
distances  and  with  fewer  ships  than  formerly.  The  determination 
of  such  a  question  will  depend,  not  upon  the  weaker  belligerent, 
but  upon  neutral  powers:  it  will  raise  the  issue  between  bel- 
ligerent and  neutral  rights;  and  if  the  belligerent  have  a  vastly 
overpowering  navy  he  may  carry  his  point, — just  as  England, 
when  possessing  the  mastery  of  the  seas,  long  refused  to  admit 
the  doctrine  of  the  neutral  flag  covering  the  goods. 


95^9 


MOSES   MAIMONIDES 

(1135-1204) 

BY.  RABBI  GOTTHEIL 

IHE  conclusion  of  the  whole  matter  is,  Go  either  to  the  right, 
my  heart,  or  go  to  the  left;  but  believe  all  that  Rabbi  Moses 
ben  Maimon  has  believed, —  the  last  of  the  Gaonim  [religious 
teachers]  in  time,  but  the  first  in  rank.*'  In  such  manner  did  the 
most  celebrated  Jewish  poet  in  Provence  voice  in  his  quaint  way  the 
veneration  with  which  the  Jewish  Aristotle  of  Cordova  was  regarded. 
For  well-nigh  four  hundred  years,  the  descendants  of  Isaac  had  lived 
in  the  Spanish  Peninsula  the  larger  life  opened  up  to  them  by  the 
sons  of  Ishmael.  They  had  with  ardor  cultivated  their  spiritual  pos- 
sessions—  the  only  ones  they  had  been  able  to  save  —  as  they  passed 
through  shipwreck  and  all  manner  of  ill  fortune  from  the  fair  lands 
of  the  East.  The  height  of  their  spiritual  fortune  was  manifested  in 
this  second  Moses,  whom  they  did  not  scruple  to  compare  with  the 
first  bearer  of  that  name. 

Abu  Amram  Musa  ibn  Ibrahim  Ubeid  Allah,  as  his  full  Arabic 
name  ran,  was  born  in  the  city  of  Cordova,  <(the  Mecca  of  the  West,* 
on  March  3oth,  1135.  His  father  was  learned  in  Talmudic  lore;  and 
from  him  the  young  student  must  have  gotten  his  strong  love  of 
knowledge.  At  an  early  period  he  developed  a  taste  for  the  exact 
sciences  and  for  philosophy.  He  read  with  zeal  not  only  the  works 
of  the  Mohammedan  scholastics,  but  also  those  of  the  Greek  philoso- 
phers in  such  dress  as  they  had  been  made  accessible  by  their 
Arabian  translators.  In  this  way  his  mind,  which  by  nature  ran  in 
logical  and  systematic  grooves,  was  strengthened  in  its  bent;  and  he 
acquired  that  distaste  for  mysticism  and  vagueness  which  is  so  char- 
acteristic of  his  literary  labors.  He  went  so  far  as  to  abhor  poetry, 
the  best  of  which  he  declared  to  be  false,  since  it  was  founded  upon 
pure  invention  —  and  this  too  in  a  land  which  had  produced  such 
noble  expressions  of  the  Hebrew  and  Arab  Muse. 

It  is  strange  that  this  man,  whose  character  was  that  of  a  sage, 
and  who  was  revered  for  his  person  as  well  as  for  his  books,  should 
have  led  such  an  unquiet  life,  and  have  written  his  works  so  full 
of  erudition  with  the  staff  of  the  wanderer  in  his  hand.  For  his 
peaceful  studies  were  rudely  disturbed  in  his  thirteenth  year  by  the 


MOSES   MAIMONIDES 

invasion  of  the  Almohades,  or  Mohammedan  Unitarians,  from  Africa. 
They  not  only  captured  Cordova,  but  set  up  a  form  of  religious  per- 
secution which  happily  is  not  always  characteristic  of  Islamic  piety. 
Maimonides's  father  wandered  to  Almeria  on  the  coast;  and  then 
(1159)  straight  into  the  lion's  jaws  at  Fez  in  Africa, — a  line  of  conduct 
hardly  intelligible  in  one  who  had  fled  for  the  better  exercise  of  the 
dictates  of  conscience.  So  pressing  did  the  importunities  of  the  Almo- 
had  fanatics  become,  that  together  with  his  family  Maimonides  was 
compelled  to  don  the  turban,  and  to  live  for  several  years  the  life  of 
an  Arabic  Marrano.  This  blot  upon  his  fair  fame  —  if  blot  it  be — he 
tried  to  excuse  in  two  treatises,  which  may  be  looked  upon  as  his 
<(  apologia  pro  vita  sua":  one  on  the  subject  of  conversion  in  general 
(1160),  and  another  addressed  to  his  co-religionists  in  Southern  Arabia 
on  the  coming  of  the  Messiah.  But  the  position  was  an-  untenable 
one;  and  in  1165  we  find  Maimonides  again  on  the  road,  reaching 
Accho,  Jerusalem,  Hebron,  and  finally  Egypt.  Under  the  milder  rule 
of  the  Ayyubite  Caliphs,  no  suppression  of  his  belief  was  necessary. 
Maimonides  settled  with  his  brother  in  old  Cairo  or  Fostat;  gaining 
his  daily  pittance,  first  as  a  jeweler,  and  then  in  the  practice  of  medi- 
cine ;  the  while  he  continued  in  the  study  of  philosophy  and  the  elab- 
oration of  the  great  works  upon  which  his  fame  reposes.  In  1177  he 
was  recognized  as  the  head  of  the  Jewish  community  of  Egypt,  and 
soon  afterwards  was  placed  upon  the  list  of  court  physicians  to  Sala- 
din.  He  breathed  his  last  on  December  13th,  1204,  and  his  body  was 
taken  to  Tiberias  for  burial. 

Perhaps  no  fairer  presentation  of  the  principles  and  practices  of 
Rabbinical  Judaism  can  be  cited  than  that  contained  in  the  three 
chief  works  of  Maimonides.  His  clear-cut  mind  gathered  the  various 
threads  which  Jewish  theology  and  life  had  spun  since  the  closing  of 
the  Biblical  canon,  and  wove  them  into  such  a  fabric  that  a  new 
period  may  fitly  be  said  to  have  been  ushered  in.  The  Mishnah  had 
become  the  law-book  of  the  Diaspora:  in  it  was  to  be  found  the  sys- 
tem of  ordinances  and  practices  which  had  been  developed  up  to  the 
second  century  A.  D.  In  the  scholastic  discussions  in  which  the  Jew- 
ish schoolmen  had  indulged  their  wit  and  their  ingenuity,  much  of 
its  plain  meaning  had  become  obscured.  At  the  age  of  twenty-three 
Maimonides  commenced  to  work  upon  a  commentary  to  this  Mishnah, 
which  took  him  seven  years  to  complete.  It  was  written  in  Arabic, 
and  very  fitly  called  ( The  Illumination > ;  for  here  the  philosophic 
training  of  its  author  was  brought  to  bear  upon  the  dry  legal  mass, 
and  to  give  it  life  as  well  as  light.  The  induction  of  philosophy  into 
law  is  seen  to  even  more  peculiar  advantage  in  his  Mishnah  Torah 
(Repeated  Law).  The  scholastic  discussions  upon  the  Mishnah  had  in 
the  sixth  century  been  put  into  writing,  and  had  become  that  vast 


MOSES  MAIMONIDES 


9591 


medley  of  thought,  that  kaleidoscope  of  schoolroom  life,  which  is 
known  by  the  name  of  Talmud.  Based  upon  the  slender  framework 
of  the  Mishnah,  the  vast  edifice  had  been  built  up  with  so  little  plan 
and  symmetry  that  its  various  ramifications  could  only  be  followed 
with  the  greatest  difficulty  and  with  infinite  exertion.  In  turn,  the 
Talmud  had  supplanted  the  Mishnah  as  the  rule  of  life  and  the  direct- 
ive of  religious  observance.  Even  before  the  time  of  Maimonides- 
scholars  had  tried  their  hand  at  putting  order  into  this  great  chaos; 
but  none  of  their  efforts  had  proved  satisfactory.  For  ten  years 
Maimonides  worked  and  produced  this  digest,  in  which  he  arranged 
in  scientific  order  all  the  material  which  a  Jewish  jurist  and  theo- 
logian might  be  called  upon  to  use.  Though  this  digest  was  received 
with  delight  by  the  Jews  of  Spain,  many  were  found  who  looked  upon 
Maimonides's  work  as  an  attempt  to  crystallize  into  unchangeable  law 
the  fluctuating  streams  of  tradition.  The  same  objection  was  made 
to  his  attempt  to  formulate  into  a  creed 'the  purely  theological  ideas 
of  the  Judaism  of  his  day.  His  ( Thirteen  Articles y  brought  on  a  war 
of  strong  opposition;  and  though  in  the  end,  the  fame  of  their  author 
conquered  a  place  for  them  even  in  the  Synagogue .  Ritual,  they  were 
never  accepted  by  the  entire  Jewry.  They  remained  the  presentation 
of  an  individual  scholar. 

But  his  chief  philosophical  work,  his  ( Guide  of  the  Perplexed  > 
(Dalalat  al  Hai'rin),  carried  him  still  further;  and  for  centuries  fairly 
divided  the  Jewish  camp  into  two  parties.  The  battle  between  the 
Maimonists  and  anti-Maimonists  waged  fiercely  in  Spain  and  Provence. 
The  bitterness  of  the  strife  is  represented  in  the  two  inscriptions 
which  were  placed  upon  his  tombstone.  The  first  read:  — 

<(Here  lies  a  man,  and  still  a  man; 
If  thou  wert  a  man,  angels  of  heaven 
Must  have  overshadowed  thy  mother. w 

This  was  effaced  and  a  second  one  placed  in  its  stead:  — 

<(Here  lies  Moses  Maimuni,  the  excommunicated  heretic. }) 

In  the  ( Guide  of  the  Perplexed y  Maimonides  has  also  produced  a 
work  which  was  (<  epoch-making  w  in  Jewish  philosophy.  It  is  the  best 
attempt  ever  made  by  a  Jew  to  combine  philosophy  with  theology. 
Aristotle  was  known  to  Maimonides  through  Al-Farabi  and  Ibn  Sina 
(Avicenna);  and  he  is  convinced  that  the  Stagyrite  is  to  be  followed 
in  certain  things,  as  he  is  that  the  Bible  must  be  followed  in  others. 
In  fact,  there  can  be  no  divergence  between  the  two;  for  both  have 
the  same  end  in  view, — to  prove  the  existence  of  God.  The  aim  of 
metaphysics  is  to  perfect  man  intellectually;  the  same  aim  is  at  the 
core  of  Talmudic  Judaism.  Reason  and  revelation  must  speak  th» 


MOSES  MAIMONIDES 

same  language ;  and  by  a  peculiar  kind  of  subtle  exegesis  —  which 
provoked  much  opposition,  as  it  seemed  to  do  violence  to  the  plain 
wording  —  he  is  able  to  find  his  philosophical  ideas  in  the  text  oi 
the  Bible.  But  he  is  careful  to  limit  his  acquiescence  in  Aristotle's 
teaching  to  things  which  occur  below  the  sphere  of  the  moon.  He 
was  afraid  of  coming  into  contact  with  the  foundations  of  religious 
belief,  and  of  having  to  deny  the  existence  of  wonders.  The  Bible 
teaches  that  matter  was  created,  and  the  arguments  advanced  in  favoi 
of  both  the  Platonic  and  Aristotelian  views  he  looks  upon  as  insuffi- 
cient. The  Jewish  belief  that  God  brought  into  existence  not  only  the 
form  but  also  the  matter  of  the  world,  Maimonides  looks  upon  much 
as  an  article  of  faith.  The  same  is  true  of  the  belief  in  a  resurrec- 
tion. He  adduces  so  little  proof  for  this  dogma  that  the  people  of 
his  day  were  ready  to  charge  him  with  heresy. 

Maimonides  is  able  to  present  twenty-five  ontological  arguments 
for  his  belief  in  the  existence,  unity,  and  incorporeality  of  God.  What 
strikes  one  most  is  the  almost  colorless  conception  of  the  Deity  at 
which  he  arrives.  In  his  endeavor  to  remove  the  slightest  shadow  of 
corporeality  in  this  conception,  he  is  finally  led  to  deny  that  any 
positive  attributes  can  be  posited  of  God.  Such  attributes  would  only 
be  "accidentia";  and  any  such  <(  acciden'tia >}  would  limit  the  idea 
of  oneness.  Even  attributes  which  would  merely  show  the  relation  of 
the  Divine  Being  to  other  beings  are  excluded;  because  he  is  so  far 
removed  from  things  non-Divine,  as  to  make  all  comparison  impossi- 
ble. Even  existence,  when  spoken  of  in  regard  to  him,  is  not  an 
attribute.  In  his  school  language,  the  "essentia"  of  God  involves 
his  <(  existentia. »  We  have  therefore  to  rely  entirely  upon  negative 
attributes  in  trying  to  get  a  clear  concept  of  the  Deity. 

If  the  Deity  is  so  far  removed,  how  then  is  he  to  act  upon  the 
world  ?  Maimonides  supposes  that  this  medium  is  to  be  found  in  the 
world  of  the  spheres.  Of  these  spheres  there  are  nine:  "the  all- 
encompassing  sphere,  that  of  the  fixed  stars,  and  those  of  the  seven 
planets. >J  Each  sphere  is  presided  over  by  an  intelligence  which  is 
its  motive  power.  These  intelligences  are  called  angels,  in  the  Bible. 
The  highest  intelligence  is  immaterial.  It  is  the  nods  poietikos,  the 
ever-active  intellect.  It  is  the  power  which  gives  form  to  all  things, 
and  makes  that  which  was  potential  really  existent.  (<  Prophecy  is 
an  emanation  sent  forth  by  the  Divine  Being  through  the  medium  of 
the  active  intellect,  in  the  first  instance  to  man's  rational  faculty  and 
then  to  his  imaginative  faculty.  The  lower  grade  of  prophecy  comes 
by  means  of  dreams,  the  higher  through  visions  accorded  the  prophet 
in  a  waking  condition.  The  symbolical  actions  of  the  prophets  are 
nothing  more  than  states  of  the  soul.®  High  above  all  the  prophets 
Maimonides  places  Moses,  to  whom  he  attributes  a  special  power,  by 


MOSES  MAIMONIDES 

means  of  which  the  active  intellect  worked  upon  him  without  the 
mediation  of  the  imagination. 

The  psychological  parts  of  the  c  Guide  *  present  in  a  Jewish  garb 
the  Peripatetic  philosophy  as  expounded  by  Alexander  of  Aphrodisia. 
Reason  exists  in  the  powers  of  the  soul,  but  only  potentially  as  latent 
reason  (notis  htilikos).  It  has  the  power  to  assimilate  immaterial  forms 
which  come  from  the  active  reason.  It  thus  becomes  acquired  or 
developed  reason  (nods  epiktetos)\  and  by  still  further  assimilation  it 
becomes  gradually  an  entity  separable  from  the  body,  so  that  at 
death  it  can  live  on  unattached  to  the  body. 

In  ethics  Maimonides  is  a  strong  partisan  of  the  doctrine  of  the 
freedom  of  the  will.  No  one  moves  him,  no  one  drives  him  to  cer- 
tain actions.  He  can  choose,  according  to  his  own  inner  vision,  the 
way  on  which  he  wishes  to  walk.  Nor  does  this  doctrine  involve  any 
limitation  of  the  Divine  power,  as  this  freedom  is  fully  predetermined 
by  the  Deity.  But  Maimonides  must  have  felt  the  difficulty  of  squar- 
ing the  doctrine  of  the  freedom  of  the  will  with  that  of  the  omnis- 
cience of  God;  for  he  intrenches  himself  behind  the  statement  that 
the  knowledge. of  God  is  so  far  removed  from  human  knowledge  as 
to  make  all  comparison  impossible.  Again,  in  true  Aristotelian  style, 
Maimonides  holds  that  those  actions  are  to  be  considered  virtuous 
which  follow  the  golden  mean  between  the  extremes  of  too  much 
and  too  little.  The  really  wise  man  will  always  choose  this  road; 
and  such  wisdom  can  be  learned;  by  continued  practice  it  can  become 
part  of  man's  nature.  He  is  most  truly  virtuous  who  has  reached 
this  eminence,  and  who  has  eliminated  from  his  own  being  even  the 
desire  to  do  wrong. 

The  daring  with  which  Maimonides  treated  many  portions  of 
Jewish  theology  did  not  fail  to  show  its  effect  immediately  after  the 
publication  of  the  c  Guided  His  rationalistic  notions  about  revela- 
tion, his  allegorizing  interpretation  of  Scripture,  his  apparent  want  of 
complete  faith  in  the  doctrine  of  resurrection,  produced  among  the 
Jews  a  .violent  reaction  against  all  philosophical  inquiry,  which  lasted 
down  to  the  times  of  the  French  Revolution.  Even  non-Jews  looked 
askance  at  his  system.  Abd  al-Latif,  an  orthodox  Mohammedan,  con- 
sidered the  ( Guide >  «  a  bad  book,  which  is  calculated  to  undermine  the 
principles  of  religion  through  the  very  means  which  are  apparently 
designed  to  strengthen  them";  and  in  Catholic  Spain  the  writings  of 
(<Moyses  hijo  de  Maymon  Egipnachus"  were  ordered  to  be  burned. 
In  Montpellier  and  in  Paris,  his  own  Jewish  opponents,  not  content 
with  having  gotten  an  edict  against  the  use  of  the  master's  writings, 
obtained  the  aid  of  the  Church  (for  the  < Guide >  had  been  translated 
into  Latin  in  the  thirteenth  century),  and  had  it  publicly  consigned 
to  the  flames.  But  all  this  was  only  further  evidence  of  the  power 


0594  MOSES  MAIMONIDES 

which  Maimonides  wielded.  The  Karaites  copied  it;  the  Kabbalah 
even  tried  to  claim  it  as  its  own.  Many  who  were  not  of  the  House 
of  Israel,  as  Thomas  Aquinas  and  Albertus  Magnus,  acknowledged  the 
debt  they  owed  the  Spanish  Rabbi;  and  Spinoza,  though  in  many 
places  an  opponent,  shows  clearly  how  carefully  he  had  studied  the 
<  Guide  of  the  Perplexed.* 


EXTRACT  FROM   MAIMONIDES'S  WILL 

FEAR  the  Lord,  but  love  him  also;  for  fear  only  restrains  a 
man  from  sin,  while  love  stimulates  him  to  good. 
Accustom  yourselves  to  habitual  goodness ;.  for  a  man's 
character  is  what  habit  makes  it.  ...  The  perfection  of  the 
body  is  a  necessary  antecedent  to  the  perfection  of  the  soul;  for 
health  is  the  key  that  unlocks  the  inner  chamber.  When  I  bid 
you  attend  to  your  bodily  and  moral  welfare,  my  object  is  to 
open  for  you  the  gates  of  heaven.  .  .  .  Measure  your  words; 
for  the  more  your  words,  the  more  your  errors.  Ask  for  expla- 
nations of  what  you  do  not  understand;  but  let  it  be  done  at  a 
fitting  moment  and  in  fitting  language.  .  .  .  Speak  in  refined 
language,  in  clear  utterance  and  gentle  voice.  Speak  aptly  to 
the  subject,  as  one  who  wishes  to  learn  and  to  find  the  truth,  not 
as  one  whose  aim  is  to  quarrel  and  to  conquer.  .  .  .  Learn 
in  your  youth,  when  your  food  is  prepared  by  others,  while  heart 
is  still  free  and  unincumbered  with  cares,  ere  the  memory  is 
weakened.  .  For  the  time  will  come  when  you  will  be  willing  to 
learn  but  will  be  unable.  Even  if  you  be  able,  you  will  labor 
much  for  little  result;  for  your  heart  will  lag  behind  your  lips, 
and  when  it  does  keep  pace,  it  will  soon  forget.  ...  If  you 
find  in  the  Law  or  the  Prophets  or  the  Sages  a  hard  saying 
which  you  cannot  understand,  which  appears  subversive  of  some 
principle  of  the  religion,  or  altogether  absurd,  stand  fast  by  your 
faith,  and  attribute  the  fault  to  your  own  want  of  intelligence. 
Despise  not  your  religion  because  you  are  unable  to  understand 
one  difficult  matter.  .  .  .  Love  truth  and  uprightness, —  the 


MOSES  MAIMONIDES 

ornaments  of  the  soul, — and  cleave  to  them;  prosperity  so  ob- 
tained is  built  on  a  sure  rock.  Keep  firmly  to  your  word;  let 
riot  a  legal  contract  or  witness  be  more  binding  than  your  verbal 
promise  even  privately  made.  Disdain  reservation  and  subter- 
fuges, sharp  practices  and  evasions.  Woe  to  him  who  builds 
his  house  thereon!  .  .  .  Bring  near  those  fhat  are  far  off; 
humble  yourselves  to  the  lowly  and  show  them  the  light  of  your 
countenance.  In  your  joys  make  the  desolate  share,  but  put  no 
one  to  the  blush  by  your  gifts.  ...  I  have  seen  the  white 
become  black,  the  low  brought  still  lower,  families  driven  into 
exile,  princes  deposed  from  their  high  estate,  cities  ruined,  as- 
semblies dispersed,  all  on  account  of  quarrelsomeness.  Glory  in 
forbearance,  for  in  that  is  true  strength  and  victory. 
Speech,  which  distinguishes  man  from  beasts,  was  a  loving  gift, 
which  man  uses  best  in  thinking,  and  thanking  and  praising  God. 
Ungraceful  should  we  be  to  return  evil  for  good,  and  to  utter 
slanders  or  falsehoods.  .  .  .  Eat  not  excessively  or  raven- 
ously. Work  before  you  eat,  and  rest  afterwards.  From  a  man's 
behavior  at  a  public  meal  you  can  discern  his  character.  Often 
have  I  returned  hungry  and  thirsty  to  my  house,  because  I  was 
afraid  when  I  saw  the  disgraceful  conduct  of  those  around 
me.  .  .  .  The  total  abstinence  from  wine  is  good,  but  I  will 
not  lay  this  on  you  as  an  injunction.  Yet  break  wine's  power 
with  water,  and  drink  it  for  nourishment,  not  for  mere  enjoy- 
ment. ...  At  gambling  the  player  always  loses.  Even  if 
he  wins  money,  he  is  weaving  a  spider's  web  round  himself. 
.  .  .  Dress  as  well  as  your  means  will  allow,  but  spend  on 
your  food  less  than  you  can  afford.  .  .  .  Honor  your  wives, 
for  they  are  your  honor.  Withhold  not  discipline  from  them,  and 
let  them  not  rule  over  you. 


FROM  THE   <  GUIDE   OF  THE   PERPLEXED  > 
A  PROOF  OF  THE  UNITY  OF  GOD 

IT    HAS   been    demonstrated    by    proof    that    the    whole    existing 
world  is  one  organic  body,  all   parts  of  which   are  connected 
together;   also,  that  the  influences  of  the  spheres  above  per- 
vade the  earthly  substance  and  prepare  it  for  its  forms.     Hence 
it  is  impossible  to  assume  that  one  deity  be  engaged  in  forming 


9596 


MOSES  MAIMONIDES 


one  part,  and  another  deity  in  forming  another  part,  of  that 
organic  body  of  which  all  parts  are  closely  connected  together. 
A  duality  could  only  be  imagined  in  this  way:  either  that  at 
one  time  the  one  deity  is  active,  the  other  at  another  time;  or 
that  both  act  simultaneously,  nothing  being  done  except  by  both 
together.  The  lirst  hypothesis  is  certainly  absurd,  for  many 
reasons:  if  at  the  time  the  one  deity  be  active  the  other  could 
also  be  active,  there  is  no  reason  why  one  deity  should  then  act 
and  the  other  not;  if  on  the  other  hand  it  be  impossible  for  the 
one  deity  to  act  when  the  other  is  at  work,  there  must  be  some 
other  cause  [besides  these  deities]  which  [at  a  certain  time] 
enables  the  one  to  act  and  disables  the  other.  [Such  differ- 
ence would  not  be  caused  by  time,]  since  time  is  without  change, 
and  the  object  of  the  action  likewise  remains  one  and  the  same 
organic  whole.  Besides,  if  two  deities  existed  in  this  way,  both 
would  be  subject  to  the  relations  of  time,  since  their  actions 
would  depend  on  time;  they  would  also  in  the  moment  of  act- 
ing pass  from  potentiality  to  actuality,  and  require  an  agent  for 
such  transition;  their  essence  would  besides  include  possibility 
[of  existence].  It  is  equally  absurd  to  assume  that  both  together 
produce  everything  in  existence,  and  that  neither  of  them  does 
anything  alone;  for  when  a  number  of  forces  must  be  united  for 
a  certain  result,  none  of  these  forces  acts  of  its  own  accord,  and 
none  is  by  itself  the  immediate  cause  of  that  result,  but  their 
union  is  the  immediate  cause.  It  has  furthermore  been  proved 
that  the  action  of  the  Absolute  cannot  be  due  to  a  [an  external] 
cause.  The  union  is  also  an  act  which  presupposes  a  cause 
effecting  that  union,  and  if  that  cause  be  one,  it  is  undoubtedly 
God;  but  if  it  also  consists  of  a  number  of  separate  forces,  a 
cause  is  required  for  the  combination  of  these  forces,  as  in  the 
first  case.  Finally,  one  simple  being  must  be  arrived  at,  that  is 
the  cause  of  the  existence  of  the  universe,  which  is  one  whole; 
it  would  make  no  difference  whether  we  assumed  that  the  First 
Cause  had  produced  the  universe  by  creatio  ex  nihilo,  or  whether 
the  universe  co-existed'  with  the  First  Cause.  It  is  thus  clear 
how  we  can  prove  the  Unity  of  God  from  the  fact  that  this 
universe  is  one  whole. 


MOSES   MAIMONIDES 


AN  ARGUMENT  CONCERNING  THE  INCORPOREALITY  OF  GOD 


9597 


EVERY  corporeal  object  is  composed  of  matter  and  form  (Prop, 
xxii.);  every  compound  of  these  two  elements  requires  an  agent 
for  effecting  their  combination.  Besides,  it  is  evident  that  a  body 
is  divisible  and  has  dimensions;  a  body  is  thus  undoubtedly  sub' 
ject  to  accidents.  Consequently  nothing  corporeal  can  be  a  unity, 
because  everything  corporeal  is  either  divisible  or  a  compound, 
—  that  is  to  say,  it  can  logically  be  analyzed  into  two  elements; 
for  a  body  can  only  be  said  to  be  a  certain  body  when  the  dis- 
tinguishing element  is  added  to  the  corporeal  substratum,  and 
must  therefore  include  two  elements:  but  it  has  been  proved 
that  the  Absolute  admits  of  no  dualism  whatever. 

Among  those  who  believe  in  the  existence  of  God,  there  are 
found  three  different  theories  as  regards  the  question  whether 
the  universe  is  eternal  or  not. 

First  Theory. —  Those  who  follow  the  Law  of  Moses  our 
teacher  hold  that  the  whole  universe  (i.  e.,  everything  except  God) 
has  been  brought  by  him  into  existence  out  of  non-existence. 
In  the  beginning  God  alone  existed,  and  nothing  else;  neither 
angels,  nor  spheres,  nor  the  things  that  are  contained  within  the 
spheres  existed.  He  then  produced  from  nothing  all  existing 
things  such  as  they  are,  by  his  will  and  desire.  Even  time  itself 
is  among  the  things  created;  for  time  depends  on  motion, — 
i.  e.,  on  an  accident  in  things  which  move, — and  the  things  upon 
whose  motion  time  depends  are  themselves  created  beings,  which 
have  passed  from  non-existence  into  existence.  We  say  that  God 
existed  before  the  creation  of  the  universe,  although  the  verb 
(<  existed })  appears  to  imply  the  notion  of  time ;  we  also  believe 
that  he  existed  an  infinite  space  of  time  before  the  universe  was 
created;  but  in  these  cases  we  do  not  mean  time  in  its  true  sense. 
We  only  use  the  term  to  signify  something  analogous  or  similar 
to  time.  For  time  is  undoubtedly  an  accident,  and  according  to 
our  opinion,  one  of  the  created  accidents,  like  blackness  and 
whiteness;  it  is  not  a  quality,  but  an  accident  connected  with 
motion.  This  must  be  clear  to  all  who  imderstand  what  Aris- 
totle has  said  on  time  and  its  real  existence. 

Second  Theory. —  The  theory  of  all  philosophers  whose  opin- 
ions and  works  are  known  to  us  is  this:  It  is  impossible  to 
assume  that  God  produced  anything  from  nothing,  or  that  he 
reduces  anything1  to  nothing;  that  is  to  say,  it  is  impossible  that 


MOSES  MAIMONIDES 

an  object  consisting  of  matter  and  form  should  be  produced 
when  that  matter  is  absolutely  absent,  or  that  it  should  be 
destroyed  in  such  a  manner  that  that  matter  be  absolutely  no 
longer  in  existence.  To  say  of  God  that  he  can  produce  a  thing 
from  nothing  or  reduce  a  thing  to  nothing  is,  according  to 
the  opinion  of  these  philosophers,  the  same  as  if  we  were  to  say 
that  he  could  cause  one  substance  to  have  at  the  same  time 
two  opposite  properties,  or  produce  another  being  like  himself,  or 
change  himself  into  a  body,  or  produce  a  square  the  diagonal  of 
which  should  be  equal  to  its  side,  or  similar  impossibilities.  The 
philosophers  thus  believe  that  it  is  no  defect  in  the  Supreme 
Being  that  he  does  not  produce  impossibilities,  for  the  nature  of 
that  which  is  impossible  is  constant;  it  does  not  depend  on  the 
action  of  an  agent,  and  for  this  reason  it  cannot  be  changed. 
Similarly  there  is,  according  to  them,  no  defect  in  the  greatness 
of  God  when  he  is  unable  to  produce  a  thing  from  nothing, 
because  they  consider  this  as  one  of  the  impossibilities.  They 
therefore  assume  that  a  certain  substance  has  coexisted  with 
God  from  eternity,  in  such  a  manner  that  neither  God  existed 
without  that  substance  nor  the  latter  without  G.od.  But  they  do 
not  hold  that  the  existence  of  that  substance  equals  in  rank  that 
of  God;  for  God  is  the  cause  of  that  existence,  and  the  substance 
is  in  the  same  relation  to  God  as  the  clay  is  to  the  potter,  or 
the  iron  to  the  smith:  God  can  do  with  it  what  he  pleases;  at 
one  time  he  forms  of  it  heaven  and  earth,  at  another  time  he 
forms  some  other  thing.  Those  who  hold  this  view  also  assume 
that  the  heavens  are  transient ;  that  they  came  into  existence 
though  not  from  nothing,  and  may  cease  to  exist  although  they 
cannot  be  reduced  to  nothing.  They  are  transient  in  the  same 
manner  as  the  individuals  among  living  beings,  which  are  pro- 
duced from  some  existing  substance  that  remains  in  existence. 
The  process  of  genesis  and  destruction  is,  in  the  case  of  the 
heavens,  the  same  as  in  that  of  earthly  beings. 

Third  Theory. — Viz.,  that  of  Aristotle,  his  followers  and  com- 
mentators. Aristotle  maintains,  like  the  adherents  of  the  second 
theory,  that  a  corporeal  object  cannot  be  produced  without  a  cor- 
poreal  substance.  He  goes  further,  however,  and  contends  that 
the  heavens  are  indestructible.  For  he  holds  that  the  universe 
in  its  totality  has  never  been  different,  nor  will  it  ever  change: 
the  heavens,  which  form  the  permanent  element  in  the  universe, 
and  are  not  subject  to  genesis  and  destruction,  have  always  been 


MOSES   MAIMONIDES 


9599 


so;  time  and  motion  are  eternal,  permanent,  and  have  neither 
beginning  nor  end;  the  sublunary  world,  which  includes  the  tran- 
sient elements,  has  always  been  the  same,  because  the  materia 
prima  is  itself  eternal,  and  merely  combines  successively  with 
different  forms,  —  when  one  form  is  removed  another  is  assumed. 
This  whole  arrangement,  therefore,  both  above  and  here  below,  is 
never  disturbed  or  interrupted;  and  nothing  is  produced  contrary 
to  the  laws  or  the  ordinary  course  of  Nature.  He  further  says  — 
though  not  in  the  same  terms  —  that  he  considers  it  impossible 
for  God  to  change  his  will  or  conceive  a  new  desire;  that  God 
produced  this  universe  in  its  totality  by  his  will,  but  not  from 
nothing.  Aristotle  finds  it  as  impossible  to  assume  that  God 
changes  his  will  or  conceives  a  new  desire  as  to  believe  that 
he  is  non-existing  or  that  his  essence  is  changeable.  Hence  it 
follows  that  this  universe  has  always  been  the  same  in  the  past, 
and  will  be  the  same  eternally. 

THE  OBJECT  OF  LAW 

THE  general  object  of  the  Law  is  twofold:  the  well-being  of 
the  soul  and  the  well-being  of  the  body.  The  well-being  of  the 
soul  is  promoted  by  correct  opinions  communicated  to  the  people 
according  to  their  capacity.  Some  of  these  opinions  are  there- 
fore imparted  in  a  plain  form,  others  allegorically ;  because  certain 
opinions  are  in  their  plain  form  too  strong  for  the  capacity  of 
the  common  people.  The  well-being  of  the  body  is  established 
by  a  proper  management  of  the  relations  in  which  we  live  one 
to  another.  This  we  can  attain  in  two  ways:  first  by  removing 
all  violence  from  our  midst;  that  is  to  say,  that  we  do  not  do 
every  one  as  he  pleases,  desires,  and  is  able  to  do,  but  every  one 
of  us  does  that  which  contributes  towards  the  common  welfare. 
Secondly,  by  teaching  every  one  of  us  such  good  morals  as  must 
produce  a  good  social  state. 

Of  these  two  objects,  the  former  —  the  well-being  of  the  soul, 
or  the  communication  of  correct  opinions  —  comes  undoubtedly 
first  in  rank;  but  the  other  —  the  well-being  of  the  body,  the  gov- 
ernment of  the  State,  and  the  establishment  of  the  best  possible 
relations  among  men  —  is  anterior  in  nature  and  time.  The  lat- 
ter object  is  required  first;  it  is  also  treated  [in  the  Law]  most 
carefully  and  most  minutely,  because  the  well-being  of  the  soul 
can  only  be  obtained  after  that  of  the  body  has  been  secured. 


9600 


MOSES  MAIMONIDES 


For  it  has  always  been  found  that  man  has  a  double  perfection: 
the  first  perfection  is  that  of  the  body,  and  the  second  perfec- 
tion is  that  of  the  soul.  The  first  consists  in  >  the  most  healthy 
condition  of  his  material  relations,  and  this  is  only  possible 
when  man  has  all  his  wants  supplied  as  they  arise:  if  he  has 
his  food  and  other  things  needful  for  his  body, —  e.  g.,  shelter, 
bath,  and  the  like.  But  one  man  alone  cannot  procure  all  this; 
it  is  impossible  for  a  single  man  to  obtain  this  comfort;  it  is  only 
possible  in  society,  since  man,  as  is  well  known,  is  by  nature 
social. 

The  second  perfection  of  man  consists  in  his  becoming  an 
actually  intelligent  being ;  i.  e. ,  when  he  knows  about  the  things 
in  existence  all  that  a  person  perfectly  developed  is  capable  of 
knowing.  This  second  perfection  certainly  does  not  include  any 
action  or  good  conduct,  but  only  knowledge,  which  is  arrived  at 
by  speculation  or  established  by  research. 

It  is  clear  that  the  second  and  superior  kind  of  perfection  can 
only  be  attained  when  the  first  perfection  has  been  acquired;  for 
a  person  that  is  suffering  from  great  hunger,  thirst,  heat,  or  cold, 
cannot  grasp  an  idea  even  if  communicated  by  others,  much  less 
can  he  arrive  at  it  by  his  own  reasoning.  But  when  a  person  is 
in  possession  of  the  first  perfection,  then  he  may  possibly  acquire 
the  second  perfection,  which  is  undoubtedly  of  a  superior  kind, 
and  is  alone  the  source  of  eternal  life.  The  true  Law,  which  as 
we  said  is  one,  and  beside  which  there  is  no  other  Law, — viz., 
the  Law  of  our  teacher  Moses, — has  for  its  purpose  to  give  us 
the  twofold  perfection.  It  aims  first  at  the  establishment  of  good 
mutual  relations  among  men,  by  removing  injustice  and  creating 
the  noblest  feelings.  In  this  way  the  people  in  every  land  are 
enabled  to  stay  and  continue  in  one  condition,  and  every  one  can 
acquire  his  first  perfection.  Secondly,  it  seeks  to  train  us  in 
faith,  and  to  impart  correct  and  true  opinions  when  the  intellect 
is  sufficiently  developed.  Scripture  clearly  mentions  the  twofold 
perfection,  and  tells  us  that  its  acquisition  is  the  object  of  all 
Divine  commandments.  Cf.  <(And  the  Lord  commanded  us  to 
do  all  these  statutes,  to  fear  the  Lord  our  God,  for  our  good 
always,  that  he  might  preserve  us  alive  this  day w  (Deut.  vi.  24). 
Here  the  second  perfection  is  first  mentioned  because  it  is  of 
greater  importance;  being,  as  we  have  shown,  the  ultimate  aim 
of  man's  existence.  This  perfection  is  expressed  in  the  phrase 
<(for  our  good  always."  You  know  the  interpretation  of  our 


MOSES  MAIMONIDES 


9601 


sages:  <(<that  it  may  be  well  with  thee '  (ibid.,  xxii.  7), — 
namely,  in  the  world  that  is  all  good;  <and  thou  mayest  prolong 
thy  days*  (ibid.), —  i.  e.,  in  the  world  that  is  all  eternal. }>  In  the 
same  sense  I  explain  the  words  (( for  our  good  always w  to  mean 
<(that  we  may  come  into  the  world  that  is  all  good  and  eternal, 
where  we  may  live  permanently }> ;  and  the  words  (( that  he  might 
preserve  us  alive  this  day}>  I  explain  as  referring  to  our  first  and 
temporal  existence,  to  that  of  our  body,'  which  cannot  be  in  a 
perfect  and  good  condition  except  by  the  co-operation  of  society, 
as  has  been  shown  by  us. 

TRUE  KNOWLEDGE  OF  GOD 

AFTER  a  man  has  acquired  the  true  knowledge  of  God,  it 
must  be  his  aim  to  surrender  his  whole  being  to  him  and  to  have 
his  heart  constantly  filled  with  longing  after  him.  Our  intellect- 
ual power,  which  emanates  directly  from  God,  joins  us  to  him. 
You  have  it  in  your  power  to  strengthen  that  bond,  or  to  weaken 
it  until  it  breaks.  It  will  be  strengthened  if  you  love  God  above 
all  other  things"  and  weakened  if  you  prefer  other  things  to  him. 
All  religious  acts,  such  as  the  reading  of  Scripture,  praying,  and 
performing  of  ordinances,  are  only  means  to  fill  our  mind  with 
the  thought  of  God  and  free  it  from  worldliness.  If  however 
we  pray  with  the  motion  of  our  lips  and  our  face  toward  the 
wall,  but  think  all  the  while  of  our  business;  read  the  Law,  and 
think  of  the  building  of  our  house;  perform  ceremonies  with  our 
limbs  only,  whilst  our  hearts  are  far  from  God, —  then  there  is 
no  difference  between  these  acts  and  the  digging  of  the  ground 
or  the  hewing  of  wood. 

SUPERFLUOUS  THINGS 

THE  soul,  when  accustomed  to  superfluous  things,  acquires  a 
strong  habit  of  desiring  others  which  are  neither  necessary  for 
the  preservation  of  the  individual  nor  for  that  of  the  species. 
This  desire  is  without  limit;  whilst  things  which  are  necessary 
are  few  and  restricted  within  certain  bounds.  Lay  this  well  to 
heart,  reflect  on  it  again  and  again:  that  which  is  superfluous  is 
without  end,  and  therefore  the  desire  for  it  also  without  limit. 
Thus  you  desire  to  have  your  vessels  of  silver,  but  gold  vessels 
are  still  better;  others  have  even  vessels  studded  with  sapphires, 
emeralds,  or  rubies.  Those  therefore  who  are  ignorant  of  this 
xvi — 601 


9602 


MOSES   MAIMONIDES 


truth,  that  the  desire  for  superfluous  things  is  without  limit,  are 
constantly  in  trouble  and  pain.  They  expose  themselves  to  great 
dangers  by  sea  voyages  or  in  the  service  of  kings.  When  they 
thus  meet  with  the  consequences  of  their  course,  they  complain  of 
the  judgments  of  God;  they  go  so  far  as  to  say  that  God's  power 
is  insufficient,  because  he  has  given  to  this  universe  the  proper- 
ties which  they  imagine  cause  these  evils. 

EVIL  THINGS  CONTRASTED  WITH  GOOD  THINGS 

MEN  frequently  think  that  the  evils  in  the  world  are  more 
numerous  than  the  good  things;  many  sayings  and  songs  of  the 
nations  dwell  on  this  idea.  They  say  that  the  good  is  found  only 
exceptionally,  whilst  evil  things  are  numerous  and  lasting.  The 
origin  of  this  error  is  to  be  found  in  the  circumstance  that  men 
judge  of  the  whole  universe  by  examining  one  single  person, 
believing  that  the  world  exists  for  that  one  person  only.  If 
anything  happens  to  him  contrary  to  his  expectation,  forthwith 
they  conclude  that  the  whole  universe  •  is  evil.  'All  mankind  at 
present  in  existence  form  only  an  infinitesimal  portion  of  the  per- 
manent universe.  It  is  of  great  advantage  that  man  should  know 
his  station.  Numerous  evils  to  which  persons  are  exposed  are 
due  to  the  defects  existing  in  the  persons  themselves.  We  seek 
relief  from  our  own  faults;  we  suffer  from  evils  which  we  inflict 
on  ourselves;  and  we  ascribe  them  to  God,  who  is  far  from  con- 
nected with  them.  As  Solomon  explained  it,  (<  The  foolishness  of 
man  perverteth  his  way,  and  his  heart  fretteth  against  the  Lord" 
(Prov.  xix.  3). 

THOUGHT  OF  SINS 

THERE  is  a  well-known  saying  of  our  sages :  <(  The  thoughts 
about  committing  a  sin  are  a  greater  evil  than  the  sin  itself.0 
I  can  offer  a  good  explanation  of  this  strange  dictum.  When  a 
person  is  disobedient,  this  is  due  to  certain  accidents  connected 
with  the  corporal  element  in  his  constitution;  for  man  sins  only 
by  his  animal  nature,  whereas  thinking  is  a  faculty  connected 
with  his  higher  and  essential  being.  A  person  who  thinks  sinful 
thoughts,  sins  therefore  by  means  of  the  nobler  portion  of  his 
self ;  just  as  he  who  causes  an  ignorant  slave  to  work  unjustly, 
commits  a  lesser  wrong  than  he  who  forces  a  free  man  or  a 
prince  to  do  menial  labor.  That  which  forms  the  true  nature  of 


MOSES  MAIMONIDES 


9603 


man,  with  all  its  properties  and  powers,  should  only  be  employed 
in  suitable  work, —  in  endeavoring  to  join  higher  beings, —  and 
not  to  sink  to  the  condition  of  lower  creatures. 


Low  SPEECH  CONDEMNED 


You  know  we  condemn  lowness  of  speech,  and  justly  so;  for 
the  gift  of  speech  is  peculiar  to  man,  and  a  boon  which  God 
granted  to  him,  that  he  may  be  distinguished  from  the  rest  of 
living  creatures.  This  gift,  therefore,  which  God  gave  us  in 
order  to  enable  us  to  perfect  ourselves,  to  learn  and  to ,  teach, 
must  not  be  employed  in  doing  that  which  is  for  us  most  degrad- 
ing and  disgraceful.  We  must  not  imitate  the  songs  and  tales  of 
ignorant  and  lascivious  people.  It  may  be  suitable  to  them,  but 
it  is  "not  fit  for  those  who  are  told — <(And  ye  shall  be  unto  me 
a  kingdom  of  priests,  and  a  holy  nation  ®  (Ex.  xix.  6). 

CONTROL  BODILY  DESIRES 

MAN  must  have  control  over  all  bodily  desires.  He  must 
reduce  them  as  much  as  possible,  and  only  retain  of  them  as 
much  as  is  indispensable.  His  aim  must  be  the  aim  of  man,  as 
man ;  viz. ,  the  formation  and  perfection  of  ideas,  and  nothing  else. 
The  best  and  the  sublimest  among  them  is  the  idea  which  man 
forms  of  God,  angels,  and  the  rest  of  the  creation,  according  to 
his  capacity.  Such  men  are  always  with  God,  and  of  them  it  is 
said:  <(Ye  are  princes,  and  all  of  you  are  children  of  the  Most 
High."  When  man  possesses  a  good  sound  body,  that  does  not 
overpower  nor  disturb  the  equilibrium  within  him,  he  possesses 
a  Divine  gift.  A  good  constitution  facilitates  the  rule  of  the 
soul  over  the  body;  but  it  is  not  impossible  to  conquer  a  bad 
constitution  by  training,  and  make  it  subservient  to  man's  ulti- 
mate destiny. 

THE  MORAL  EQUIPOISE 

IT  is  true  that  many  pious  men  in  ages  gone  by  have  broken 
the  universal  rule,  to  select  the  just  mean  in  all  the  actions  of 
life;  at  times  they  went  to  extremes.  Thus  they  fasted  often, 
watched  through  the  nights,  abstained  from  flesh  and  wine,  wore 
sackcloth,  lived  among  the  rocks,  and  wandered  in  the  deserts. 
They  did  this,  however,  only  when  they  considered  it  necessary 
to  restore  their  disturbed  moral  equipoise;  or  to  avoid,  in  the 


9604 


MOSES  MAIMONIDES 


midst  of  men,  temptations  which  at  times  were  too  strong  for 
them.  These  abnegations  were  for  them  means  to  an  end,  and 
they  forsook  them  as  soon  as  that  end  was  attained.  Thought- 
less men,  however,  regarded  castigations  as  holy  in  themselves, 
and  imitated  them  without  thinking  of  the  intentions  of  their 
examples.  They  thought  thereby  to  reach  perfection  and  to 
approach  to  God.  The  fools!  as  if  God  hated  the  body  and  took 
pleasure  in  its  destruction.  They  did  not  consider  how  many 
sicknesses  of  soul  their  actions  caused.  They  are  to  be  compared 
to  such  as  take  dangerous  medicines  because  they  have  seen 
that  experienced  physicians  have  saved  many  a  one  from  death 
with  them;  so  they  ruin  themselves.  This  is  the  meaning  of  the 
cry  of  the  Prophet  Jeremiah:  <(Oh  that  I  had  in  the  wilderness 
a  lodging-place  of  wayfaring  men,  that  I  might  leave  my  people 
and  go  from  them." 


9605 


SIR   HENRY   MAINE 

(1822-1888) 

BY   D.  MACQ.  MEANS 

[ENRY  JAMES  SUMNER  MAINE  was  born  near  Leighton  on  August 
1 5th,  1822,  and  passed  his  first  years  in  Jersey;  afterward 
removing. to  England,  where  he  was  brought  up  exclusively 
by  his  mother,  a  woman  of  superior  talents.  In  1829  he  was  entered 
by  his  godfather  —  Dr.  Sunnier,  afterward  Archbishop  of  Canterbury 
—  at  Christ's  Hospital,  and  in  1840  went  as  one  of  its  exhibitioners  to 
Pembroke  College,  Cambridge.  From  the 
very  beginning  his  career  was  brilliant;  and 
after  carrying  off  nearly  all  the  academic 
honors,  he  was  made  Regius  Professor  of 
Civil  Law  at  the  early  age  of  twenty-five. 
In  spite  of  a  feeble  constitution,  which 
made  his  life  a  prolonged  struggle  with  ill- 
ness, his  voice  was  always  notably  strong, 
and  is  described  by  one  of  his  early  hearers 
as  like  a  silver  bell.  His  appearance  was 
striking,  indicating  the  sensitive  nervous 
energy  of  which  he  was  full.  Such  were 
his  spirits  and  disposition  that  he  was  a 
charming  companion,  but  it  was  hard  to 
draw  him  away  from  his  reading.  This 

became  eventually  prodigious  in  extent,  his  power  of  seizing  on  the 
essence  of  books  and  passing  over  what  was  immaterial  being  very 
remarkable. 

In  1847  he  married  his  cousin,  Jane  Maine;  and  as  it  became 
necessary  to  provide  for  new  responsibilities,  he  took  up  the  law  as 
a  profession,  and  was  called  to  the  bar  in  1850.  Like  so  many  other 
great  Englishmen  of  modern  times,  he  devoted  much  time  to  writing 
for  the  press,  his  first  efforts  appearing  in  the  Morning  Chronicle. 
He  wrote  for  the  first  number  of  the  Saturday  Review,  and  is  said 
to  have  suggested  its  name.  His  contributions  were  very  numer- 
ous; and  were  especially  valued  by  the  editor,  John  Douglas  Cook, 
although  the  present  Lord  Salisbury,  Sir  William  Ha'jourt,  Goldwin 
Smith,  Sir  James  Stephen,  Walter  Bagehot,  and  otner  able  writers 


SIR  HENRY  MAINE 


9606 


SIR  HENRY  MAINE 


were  coadjutors.  He  practiced  a  little  at  the  common-law  bar;  but 
his  health  did  not  "permit  him  to  go  regularly  on  circuit,  and  he 
soon  went  over  to  the  equity  branch  of  the  profession.  In  1852  the 
Inns  of  Court  appointed  him  reader  in  Roman  law;  and  in  1861  the 
results  of  this  lectureship  were  given  to  the  world  in  the  publication 
of  ( Ancient  Law.* 

This  splendid  work  made  an  epoch  in  the  history  of  the  study  of 
law.  It  is  the  finest  example  of  the  comparative  method  which  the 
present  generation  has  seen.  Some  of  its  conclusions  have  been 
proved  erroneous  by  later  scholars,  but  the  value  of  the  book  remains 
unimpaired.  Apart  from  its  graces  of  style,  its  peculiar  success  was 
due  to  the  author's  power  of  re-creating  the  past;  of  introducing 
the  reader,  as  it  were,  to  his  own  ancestors  many  centuries  removed, 
engaged  in  the  actual  transaction  of  legal  business.  It  was  altogether 
fitting  that  one  who  had  shown  such  distinguished  capacity  for  under- 
standing the  thoughts  and  customs  of  primitive  peoples  should  be 
chosen  as  an  administrator  of  the  Indian  Empire;  and  in  1862  Maine 
accepted  the  law  membership  in  the  council  of  the  Governor-General 
— the  office  previously  filled  by  Macaulay.  Perhaps  nowhere  in  the 
world  is  so  good  work  done  with  so  little  publicity  as  in  such  posi- 
tions as  this.  It  is  inconceivable  that  any 'one  except  a  historian  or  a 
specialist  should  read  Maine's  Indian  papers,  and  yet  no  one  can  take 
them  up  without  being  struck  with  their  high  quality.  So  far  as  intel- 
ligent government  is  concerned,  there  is  no  comparison  between  a 
benevolent  despot  like  Maine  and  a  representative  chosen  by  popular 
suffrage. 

On  his  return  from  India  in  1869,  Maine  became  professor  of 
jurisprudence  at  Oxford;  and  showed  the  results  of  his  Indian  expe- 
riences in  the  lectures  published  in  1871,  under  the  title  <  Village 
Communities.*  In  1875  he  brought  out  the  ( Early  History  of  Institu- 
tions. '  He  became  a  member  of  the  Indian  Council,  and  resigning  his 
Oxford  professorship,  was  chosen  master  of  Trinity  Hall,  Cambridge; 
numberless  other  honors  being  showered  on  him.  In  1883  tne  last  of 
the  series  of  works  begun  with  'Ancient  Law*  appeared, — Disser- 
tations on  Early  Law  and  Custom.*  This  was  followed  in  1885  by 
Popular  Government,*  a  work  especially  interesting  to  Americans  as 
criticizing  their  form  of  government  from  the  aristocratical  point  of 
view.  In  1887  Maine  succeeded  Sir  William  Harcourt  as  professor 
of  international  law  at  Cambridge;  but  delivered  only  one  course  of 
lectures,  which  were  published  after  his  death  without  his  final  revis- 
ion. He  died  February  3d,  1888,  of  apoplexy,  leaving  a  widow  and 
two  sons,  one  of  whom  died  soon  after  his  father.  A  memoir  of 
his  life  was  prepared  by  Sir  M.  E.  Grant  Duff,  with  a  selection  of  his 
Indian  speeches  and  minutes,  and  published  in  this  country  in  1892 


SIR   HENRY   MAINE  9607 

by  Henry  Holt  &  Co.  It  contains  a  fine  photograph  from  Dickinson's 
portrait, —  enough  evidence  of  itself  to  explain  the  mastery  which 
the  English  race  has  come  to  exercise  over  so  large  a  part  of  the 
earth. 

Maine's  style  was  distinguished  by  lucidity  and  elegance.  He  has 
been  justly  compared  with  Montesquieu;  but  the  progress  of  knowl- 
edge gave  him  the  advantage  of  more  accurate  scholarship.  He 
applied  the  theory  of  evolution  to  the  development  of  human  institu- 
tions; yet  no  sentence  ever  written  by  him  has  been  so  often  quoted 
as  that  which  recognized  the  immobility  of  the  masses  of  mankind: 
<(  Except  the  blind  forces  of  nature,  nothing  moves  in  this  world 
which  is  not  Greek  in  its  origin. }>  In  spite  of  his  wonderful  powers 
of  almost  intuitive  generalization,  and  of  brilliant  expression,  he  had 
not  the  temperament  of  a  poetical  enthusiast.  He  was  noted  for  his 
caution  in  his  career  as  a  statesman,  and  the  same  quality  marked 
all  his  work.  As  Sir  F.  Pollock  said,  he  forged  a  new  and  lasting 
bond  between  jurisprudence  and  anthropology,  and  made  jurispru- 
dence a  study  of  the  living  growth  of  human  society  through  all  its 
stages.  But  those  who  are  capable  of  appreciating  his  work  in  India 
will  perhaps  consider  it  his  greatest  achievement;  for  no  man  has 
done  so  much  to  determine  what  Indian  law  should  be,  and  thus  to 
shape  the  institutions  of  untold  millions  of  human  beings. 


THE  BEGINNINGS  OF  THE  MODERN  LAWS  OF   REAL  PROPERTY 

From   Essay  on  <  The   Effects  of  Observation  of  India  on  Modern  European 
Th ought,  >  in  <  Village  Communities  in  the  East  and  West* 

WHENEVER  a  corner  is  lifted  up  of  the  veil  which  hides  from 
us  the  primitive  condition  of  mankind,  even  of  such  parts 
of  it  as  we  know  to   have   been   destined   to  civilization, 
there  are  two  positions,  now  very  familiar  to  us,  which  seem  to 
be  signally  falsified  by  all  we  are  permitted  to  see:    All  men  are 
brothers,  and  All  men  are  equal.     The  scene  before  us  is  rather 
that  which  the  animal  world  presents  to  the  mental  eye  of  those 
who   have    the    courage    to   bring    home   to   themselves   the    facts 
answering  to  the  memorable  theory  of  Natural  Selection.      Each 


9608 


SIR  HENRY  MAINE 


fierce  little  community  is  perpetually  at  war  with  its  neighbor, 
tribe  with  tribe,  village  with  village.  The  never-ceasing  attacks 
of  the  strong  on  the  weak  end  in  the  manner  expressed  by  the 
monotonous  formula  which  so  often  recurs  in  the  pages  of  Thu- 
cydides, —  "They  put  the  men  to  the  sword;  the  women  and 
children  they  sold  into  slavery.  »  Yet  even  amid  all  this  cruelty 
and  carnage,  we  find  the  germs  of  ideas  which  have  spread  over 
the  world.  There  is  still  a  place  and  a  sense  in  which  men  are 
brothers  and  equals.  The  universal  belligerency  is  the  belliger- 
ency of  one  total  group,  tribe,  or  village,  with  another;  but  in 
the  interior  of  the  groups  the  regimen  is  one  not  of  conflict  and 
confusion,  but  rather  of  ultra-legality.  The  men  who  composed 
the  primitive  communities  believed  themselves  to  be  kinsmen 
in  the  most  literal  sense  of  the  word;  and  surprising  as  it  may 
seem,  there  are  a  multitude  of  indications  that  in  one  stage  of 
thought  they  must  have  regarded  themselves  as  equals.  When 
these  primitive  bodies  first  make  their  appearance  as  land-owners, 
as  claiming  an  exclusive  enjoyment  in  a  definite  area  of  land, 
not  only  do  their  shares  of  the  soil  appear  to  have  been  ori- 
ginally equal,  but  a  number  of  contrivances  survive  for  preserv- 
ing the  equality,  of  which  the  most  frequent  is  the  periodical 
redistribution  of  the  tribal  domain.  The  facts  collected  suggest 
one  conclusion,  which  may  be  now  considered  as  almost  proved 
to  demonstration.  Property  in  land,  as  we  understand  it, —  that 
is,  several  ownership,  ownership  by  individuals  or  by  groups  not 
larger  than  families, —  is  a  more  modern  institution  than  joint 
property  or  co-ownership;  that  is,  ownership  in  common  by  large 
groups  of  men  originally  kinsmen,  and  still,  wherever  they  are 
found  (and  they  are  still  found  over  a  great  part  of  the  world), 
believing  or  assuming  themselves  to  be,  in  some  sense,  of  kin  to 
one  another.  Gradually,  and  probably  under  the  influence  of  a 
great  variety  of  causes,  the  institution  familiar  to  us,  individual 
property  in  land,  has  arisen  from  the  dissolution  of  the  ancient 
co-ownership. 

There  are  other  conclusions  from  modern  inquiry  which  ought 
to  be  stated  less  confidently,  and  several  of  them  only  in  nega- 
tive form.  Thus,  wherever  we  can  observe  the  primitive  groups 
still  surviving  to  our  day,  we  find  that  competition  has  very  fee- 
ble play  in  their  domestic  transactions;  competition,  that  is,  in 
exchange  and  in  the  acquisition  of  property.  This  phenomenon, 
with  several  others,  suggests  that  competition,  that  prodigious 


SIR  HENRY  MAINE 


9609 


social  force  of  which  the  action  is  measured  by  political  econ- 
omy, is  of  relatively  modern  origin.  Just  as  the  conceptions 
of  human  brotherhood,  and  in  a  less  degree  of  human  equality, 
appear  to  have  passed  beyond  the  limits  of  the  primitive  com- 
munities and  to  have  spread  themselves  in  a  highly  diluted  form 
over  the  mass  of  mankind, —  so,  on  the  other  hand,  competition 
in  exchange  seems  to  be  the  universal  belligerency  of  the  ancient 
world  which  has  penetrated  into  the  interior  of  the  ancient  groups 
of  blood  relatives.  It  is  the  regulated  private  war  of  ancient 
society  gradually  broken  up  into  indistinguishable  atoms.  So  far 
as  property  in  land  is  concerned,  unrestricted  competition  in  pur- 
chase and  exchange  has  a  far  more  limited  field  of  action,  even 
at  this  moment,  than  an  Englishman  or  an  American  would  sup- 
pose. The  view  of  land  as  merchantable  property,  exchangeable 
like  a  horse  or  an  ox,  seems  to  be  not  only  modern  but  even 
now  distinctively  Western.  It  is  most  unreservedly  accepted  in 
the  United  States;  with  little  less  reserve  in  England  and  France; 
but  as  we  proceed  through  Eastern  Europe  it  fades  gradually 
away,  until  in  Asia  it  is  wholly  lost. 

I  cannot  do  more  than  hint  at  other  conclusions  which  are 
suggested  by  recent  investigation.  We  may  lay  down,  I  think  at 
least  provisionally,  that  in  the  beginning  of  the  history  of  owner- 
ship there  was  no  such  broad  distinction  as  we  now  commonly 
draw  between  political  and  proprietary  power,  —  between  the 
power  which  gives  the  right  to  tax  and  the  power  which  confers 
the  right  to  exact  rent.  It  would  seem  as  if  the  greater  forms 
of  landed  property  now  existing  represented  political  sovereignty 
in  a  condition  of  decay,  while  the  small  property  of  most  of  the 
world  has  grown  —  not  exclusively,  as  has  been  vulgarly  supposed 
hitherto,  out  of  the  precarious  possessions  of  servile  classes,  but — 
out  of  the  indissoluble  association  of  the  status  of  freeman  with 
a  share  in  the  land  of  the  community  to  which  he  belonged.  I 
think,  again,  that  it  is  possible  we  may  have  to  revise  our  ideas 
of  the  relative  antiquity  of  the  objects  of  enjoyment  which  we 
call  movables  and  immovables,  real  property  and  personal  prop- 
erty. Doubtless  the  great  bulk,  of  movables  came  into  existence 
after  land  had  begun  to  be  appropriated  by  groups  of  men;  but 
there  is  now  much  reason  for  suspecting  that  some  of  these  com- 
modities were  severally  owned  before  this  appropriation,  and  that 
they  exercised  great  influence  in  dissolving  the  primitive  collect- 
ive ownership. 


9610 


SIR   HENRY   MAINE 


It  is  unavoidable  that  positions  like  these,  stated  as  they  can 
cnly  be  stated  here,  should  appear  to  some  paradoxical,  to  others 
unimportant.  There  are  a  few,  perhaps,  who  may  conceive  a  sus- 
picion that  if  property  as  we  now  understand  it  —  that  is,  several 
property  —  be  shown  to  be  more  modern  not  only  than  the  human 
race  (which  was  long  ago  assumed),  but  than  ownership  in  com- 
mon (which  is  only  beginning  to  be  suspected),  some  advantage 
may  be  gained  by  those  assailants  of  the  institution  itself  whose 
doctrines  from  time  to  time  cause  a  panic  in  modern  Continental 
society.  I  do  not  myself  think  so,  It  is  not  the  business  of  the 
scientific  historical  inquirer  to  assert  good  or  evil  of  any  particu- 
lar institution.  He  deals  with  its  existence  and  development,  not 
with  its  expediency.  But  one  conclusion  he  may  properly  draw 
from  the  facts  bearing  on  the  subject  before  us.  Nobody  is  at 
liberty  to  attack  several  property  and  to  say  at  the  same  time 
that  he  values  civilization.  The  history  of  the  two  cannot  be  dis- 
entangled. Civilization  is  nothing  more  than  a  name  for  the  old 
order  of  the  Aryan  world,  dissolved  but  perpetually  reconstituting 
itself  under  a  vast  variety  of  solvent  influences,  of  which  infi- 
nitely the  most  powerful  have  been  those  which  have  slowly, 
and  in  some  parts  of  the  world  much  less  perfectly  than  others, 
substituted  several  property  for  collective  ownership. 


IMPORTANCE    OF    A    KNOWLEDGE    OF    ROMAN    LAW:    AND    THE 
EFFECT  OF  THE  CODE  NAPOLEON 

From   ( Roman  Law  and   Legal   Education,*  in   ( Village  Communities  in  the 

East  and  West> 

IF  IT  were  worth  our  while  to  inquire  narrowly  into  the  causes 
which  have  led  of  late  years  to  the  revival  of  interest  in  the 
Roman  civil  law,  we  should  probably  end  in  attributing  its 
increasing  popularity  rather  to  some  incidental  glimpses  of  its 
value,  which  have  been  gained  by  the  English  practitioner  in  the 
course  of  legal  business,  than  to  any  widely  diffused  or  far  reach- 
ing appreciation  of  its  importance  as  an  instrument  of  knowledge. 
It  is  most  certain  that  the  higher  the  point  of  jurisprudence 
which  has  to  be  dealt  with,  the  more  signal  is  always  the  assist- 
ance derived  by  the  English  lawyer  from  Roman  law;  and  the 
higher  the  mind  employed  upon  the  question,  the  more  unquali- 
fied is  its  admiration  of  the  system  by  which  its  perplexities  have 


SIR  HENRY  MAINE  96n 

been  disentangled.  But  the  grounds  upon  which  the  study  of 
Roman  jurisprudence  is  to  be  defended  are  by  no  means  such  as 
to  be  intelligible  only  to  the  subtlest  intellects,  nor  do  they  await 
the  occurrence  of  recondite  points  of  law  in  order  to  disclose 
themselves.  It  is  believed  that  the  soundness  of  many  of  them 
will  be  recognized  as  soon  as  they  are  stated;  and  to  these  it  is 
proposed  to  call  attention  in  the  present  essay. 

The  historical  connection  between  the'  Roman  jurisprudence 
and  our  own  appears  to  be  now  looked  upon  as  furnishing  one 
very  strong  reason  for  increased  attention  to  the  civil  law  of 
Rome.  The  fact,  of  course,  is  not  now  to  be  questioned.  The 
vulgar  belief  that  the  English  common  law  was  indigenous  in  all 
its  parts  was  always  so  easily  refuted,  by  the  most  superficial 
comparison  of  the  text  of  Bracton  and  Fleta  with  the  Corpus 
Juris^  that  the  honesty  of  the  historians  who  countenanced  it 
can  only  be  defended  by  alleging  the  violence  of  their  preju- 
dices; and  now  that  the  great  accumulation  of  fragments  of  ante- 
Justinianean  compendia,  and  the  discovery  of  the  MS.  of  Gaius, 
have  increased  our  acquaintance  with  the  Roman  law  in  the  only 
form  in  which  it  can  have  penetrated  into  Britain,  the  suspicion 
of  a  partial  earlier  filiation  amounts  almost  to  a  certainty.  The 
fact  of  such  a  filiation  has  necessarily  the  highest  interest  for  the 
legal  antiquarian,  and  it  is  of  value  besides  for  its  effect  on  some 
of  the  coarser  prepossessions  of  English  lawyers.  But  too  much 
importance  should  not  be  attached  to  it.  It  has  ever  been  the 
case  in  England  that  every  intellectual  importation  we  have 
received  has  been  instantly  colored  by  the  peculiarities  of  our 
national  habits  and  spirit.  A  foreign  jurisprudence  interpreted 
by  the  old  English  common-lawyers  would  soon  cease  to  be  for- 
eign, and  the  Roman  law  would  lose  its  distinctive  character  with 
even  greater  rapidity  than  any  other  set  of  institutions.  It  will 
be  easily  understood  that  a  system  like  the  laws  of  Rome,  distin- 
guished above  all  others  for  its  symmetry  and  its  close  correspond- 
ence with  fundamental  rules,  would  be  effectually  metamorphosed 
by  a  very  slight  distortion  of  its  parts,  or  by  the  omission  of  one 
or  two  governing  principles.  Even  though,  therefore,  it  be  true  — 
and  true  it  certainly  is  —  that  texts  of  Roman  law  have  been 
worked  at  all  points  into  the  foundations  of  our  jurisprudence,  it 
does  not  follow  from  that  fact  that  our  knowledge  of  English 
law  would  be  materially  improved  by  the  study  of  the  ( Corpus 
Juris*;  and  besides,  if  too  much  stress  be  laid  on  the  historical 


9612 


SIR  HENRY  MAINE 


connection  between  the  systems,  it  will  be  apt  to  encourage  one 
of  the  most  serious  errors  into  which  the  inquirer  into  the  phi- 
losophy of  law  can  fall.  It  is  not  because  our  own  jurisprudence 
and  that  of  Rome  were  once  alike  that  they  ought  to  be  studied 
together;  it  is  because  they  will  be  alike.  It  is  because  all  laws, 
however  dissimilar  in  their  infancy,  tend  to  resemble  each  other 
in  their  maturity;  and  because  we  in  England  are  slowly,  and 
perhaps  unconsciously  or  unwillingly,  but  still  steadily  and  cer- 
tainly, accustoming  ourselves  to  the  same  modes  of  legal  thought, 
and  to  the  same  conceptions  of  legal  principle,  to  which  the 
Roman  jurisconsults  had  attained  after  centuries  of  accumulated 
experience  and  unwearied  cultivation. 

The  attempt,  however,  to  explain  at  length  why  the  flux  and 
change  which  our  law  is  visibly  undergoing  furnish  the  strongest 
reasons  for  studying  a  body  of  rules  so  mature  and  so  highly 
refined  as  that  contained  in  the  ( Corpus  Juris, y  would  be  nearly 
the  same  thing  as  endeavoring  to  settle  the  relation  of  the  Roman 
law  to  the  science  of  jurisprudence;  and  that  inquiry,  from  its 
great  length  and  difficulty,  it  would  be  obviously  absurd  to  prose- 
cute within  the  limits  of  an  essay  like  the  present.  But  there  is 
a  set  of  considerations  of  a  different  nature,  and  equally  forcible 
in  their  way,  which  cannot  be  too  strongly  impressed  on  all  who 
have  the  control  of  legal  or  general  education.  The  point  which 
they  tend  to  establish  is  this:  the  immensity  of  the  ignorance  to 
which  we  are  condemned  by  ignorance  of  Roman  law.  It  may  be 
doubted  whether  even  the  best  educated  men  in  England  can 
fully  realize  how  vastly  important  an  element  is  Roman  law  in 
the  general  mass  of  human  knowledge,  and  how  largely  it  enters 
into  and  pervades  and  modifies  all  products  of  human  thought 
which  are  not  exclusively  English.  Before  we  endeavor  to  give 
some  distant  idea  of  the  extent  to  which  this  is  true,  we  must 
remind  the  reader  that  the  Roman  law  is  not  a  system  of  cases, 
like  our  own.  It  is  a  system  of  which  the  nature  may,  for  prac- 
tical purposes  though  inadequately,  be  described  by  saying  that 
it  consists  of  principles,  and  of  express  written  rules.  In  Eng- 
land, the  labor  of  the  lawyer  is  to  extract  from  the  precedents  a 
formula,  which  while  covering  them  will  also  cover  the  state-  of 
facts  to  be  adjudicated  upon;  and  the  task  of  rival  advocates  is, 
from  the  same  precedents  or  others  to  elicit  different  formulas 
of  equal  apparent  applicability.  Now,  in  Roman  law  no  such  use 
is  made  of  precedents.  The  Corpus  Juris,  >  as  may  be  seen  at  a 


SIR   HENRY   MAINE 


9613 


glance,  contains  a  great  number  of  what  our  English  lawyers 
would  term  cases;  but  then  they  are  in  no  respect  sources  of 
rules  —  they  are  instances  of  their  application.  They  are,  as  it 
were,  problems  solved  by  authority  in  order  to  throw  light  on  the 
rule,  and  to  point  out  how  it  should  be  manipulated  and  applied. 
How  it  was  that  the  Roman  law  came  to  assume  this  form  so 
much  sooner  and  more  completely  than  our  own,  is  a  question 
full  of  interest,  and  it  is  one  of  the  first  to  which  the  student 
should  address  himself;  but  though  the  prejudices  of  an  English- 
man will  probably  figure  to  him  a  jurisprudence  thus  constituted 
as,  to  say  the  least,  anomalous,  it  is  nevertheless  quite  as  readily 
conceived,  and  quite  as  natural  to  the  constitution  of  our  own 
system.  In  proof  of  this,  it  may  be  remarked  that  the  English 
common  law  was  clearly  conceived  by  its  earliest  expositors  as 
wearing  something  of  this  character.  It  was  regarded  as  existing 
somewhere  in  the  form  of  a  symmetrical  body  of  express  rules, 
adjusted  to  definite  principles*  The  knowledge  of  the  system, 
however,  in  its  full  amplitude  and  proportions,  was  supposed  to  be 
confined  to  the  breasts  of  the  judges  and  the  lay  public,  and  the 
mass  of  the  legal  profession  were  only  permitted  to  discern  its 
canons  intertwined  with  the  facts  of  adjudged  cases.  Many  traces 
of  this  ancient  theory  remain  in  the  language  of  our  judgments 
and  forensic  arguments;  and  among  them  we  may  perhaps  place 
the  singular  use  of  the  word  (<  principle }>  in  the  sense  of  a  legal 
proposition  elicited  from  the  precedents  by  comparison  and  induc- 
tion. 

The  proper  business  of  a  Roman  jurisconsult  was  therefore 
confined  to  the  interpretation  and  application  of  express  written 
rules;  processes  which  must  of  course  be  to  some  extent  em- 
ployed by  the  professors  of  every  system  of  laws — of  our  own 
among  others,  when  we  attempt  to  deal  with  statute  law.  But 
the  great  space  which  they  filled  at  Rome  has  no  counterpart 
in  English  practice;  and  becoming,  as  they  did,  the  principal 
exercise  of  a  class  of  men  characterized  as  a  whole  by  extraordi- 
nary subtlety  and  patience,  and  in  individual  cases  by  extraor- 
dinary genius,  they  were  the  means  of  producing  results  which 
the  English  practitioner  wants  centuries  of  attaining.  We  who 
speak  without  shame  —  occasionally  with  something  like  pride  —  of 
our  ill  success  in  construing  statutes,  have  at  our  hand  nothing 
distantly  resembling  the  appliances  which  the  Roman  jurispru- 
dence supplies,  partly  by  definite  canons  and  partly  by  appropriate 


9614  SIR   HENRY   MAINE 

examples,  for  the  understanding  and  management  of  written  law. 
It  would  not  be  doing  more  than  justice  to  the  methods  of  inter- 
pretation invented  by  the  Roman  lawyers,  if  we  were  to  com- 
pare the  power  which  they  give  over  their  subject-matter  to 
the  advantage  which  the  geometrician  derives  from  mathematical 
analysis  in  discussing  the  relations  of  space.  By  each  of  these 
helps,  difficulties  almost  insuperable  become  insignificant,  and  pro- 
cesses nearly  interminable  are  shortened  to  a  tolerable  compass. 
The  parallel  might  be  carried  still  further,  and  we  might  insist  on 
the  special  habit  of  mind  which  either  class  of  mental  exercise 
induces.  Most  certainly  nothing  can  be  more  peculiar,  special,  and 
distinct  than  the  bias  of  thought,  the  modes  of  reasoning,  and 
the  habits  of  illustration,  which  are  given  by  a  training  in  the 
Roman  law.  No  tension  of  mind  or  length  of  study  which  even 
distantly  resembles  the  labor  of  mastering  English  jurisprudence 
is  necessary  to  enable  the  student  to  realize  these  peculiarities 
of  mental  view;  but  still  they  cannot  be  acquired  without  some 
effort,  and  the  question  is,  whether  the  effort  which  they  demand 
brings  with  it  sufficient  reward.  We  can  only  answer  by  endeav- 
oring to  point  out  that  they  pervade  whole  departments  of  thought 
and  inquiry  of  which  some  knowledge  is  essential  to  every  law- 
yer, and  to  every  man  of  decent  cultivation.  .  .  . 

It  may  be  confidently  asserted,  that  if  the  English  lawyer  only 
attached  himself  to  the  study  of  Roman  law  long  enough  to  mas- 
ter the  technical  phraseology  and  to  realize  the  leading  legal  con- 
ceptions of  the  <  Corpus  Juris, y  he  would  approach  those  questions 
of  foreign  law  to  which  our  courts  have  repeatedly  to  address 
themselves,  with  an  advantage  which  no  mere  professional  acumen 
acquired  by  the  exclusive  practice  of  our  own  jurisprudence  could 
ever  confer  on  him.  The  steady  multiplication  of  legal  systems 
borrowing  the  entire  phraseology,  adopting  the  principles,  and 
appropriating  the  greater  part  of  the  rules,  of  Roman  jurispru- 
dence, is  one  of  the  most  singular  phenomena  of  our  day,  and  far 
more  worthy  of  attention  than  the  most  showy  manifestations  of 
social  progress.  This  gradual  approach  of  Continental  Europe  to 
a  uniformity  of  municipal  law  dates  unquestionably  from  the  first 
French  Revolution,  Although  Europe,  as  is  well  known,  formerly 
comprised  a  number  of  countries  and  provinces  which  governed 
themselves  by  the  written  Roman  law,  interpolated  with  feudal 
observances,  there  does  not  seem  to  be  any  evidence  that  the 
institutions  of  these  localities  enjoyed  any  vogue  or  favor  beyond 


SIR   HENRY   MAINE 


9615 


their  boundaries.  Indeed,  in  the  earlier  part  of  the  last  century, 
there  may  be  traced  among  the  educated  men  of  the  Continent 
something  of  a  feeling  in  favor  of  English  law;  a  feeling  pro- 
ceeding, it  is  to  be  feared,  rather  from  the  general  enthusiasm 
for  English  political  institutions  which  was  then  prevalent,  than 
founded  on  any  very  accurate  acquaintance  with  the  rules  of  our 
jurisprudence.  Certainly,,  as  respects  France  in  particular,  there 
were  no  visible  symptoms  of  any  general  preference  for  the  insti- 
tutions of  the  pays  de  droit  tcrit  as  'opposed  to  the  provinces  in 
which  customary  law  was  observed.  But  then  came  the  French 
Revolution,  and  brought  with  it  the  necessity  of  preparing  a  gen- 
eral code  for  France  one  and  indivisible.  Little  is  known  of  the 
special  training  through  which  the  true  authors  of  this  work  had 
passed;  but  in  the  form  which  it  ultimately  assumed,  when  pub- 
lished as  the  Code  Napoleon,  it  may  be  described  without  great 
inaccuracy  as  a  compendium  of  the  rules  of  Roman  law  then 
practiced  in  France,  cleared  of  all  feudal  admixture;  such  rules, 
however,  being  in  all  cases  taken  with  the  extensions  given  to 
them  and  the  interpretations  put  upon  them  by  one  or  two  emi- 
nent French  jurists,  and  particularly  by  Pothier.  The  French 
conquests  planted  this  body  of  laws  over  the  whole  extent  of  the 
French  empire,  and  the  kingdoms  immediately  dependent  upon  it; 
and  it  is  incontestable  that  it  took  root  with  extraordinary  quick- 
ness and  tenacity.  The  highest  tribute  to  the  French  codes  is 
their  great  and  lasting  popularity  with  the  people,  the  .lay  public, 
of  the  countries  into  which  they  have  been  introduced.  How 
much  weight  ought  to  be  attached  to  this  symptom,  our  own  ex- 
perience should  teach  us;  which  surely  shows  us  how  thoroughly 
indifferent  in  general  is  the  mass  of  the  public  to  the  particu- 
lar rules  of  civil  life  by  which  it  may  be  governed,  and  how 
extremely  superficial  are  even  the  most  energetic  movements  in 
favor  of  the  amendment  of  the  law.  At  the  fall  of  the  Bona- 
partist  empire  in  1815,  most  of  the  restored  governments  had 
the  strongest  desire  to  expel  the  intrusive  jurisprudence  which 
had  substituted  itself  for  the  ancient  customs  of  the  land.  It  was 
found,  however,  that  the  people  prized  it  as  the  most  precious  of 
possessions:  the  attempt  to  subvert  it  was  persevered  in  in  very 
few  instances,  and  in  most  of  them  the  French  codes  were 
restored  after  a  brief  abeyance.  And  not  only  has  the  observance 
of  these  laws  been  confirmed  in  almost  all  the  countries  which 
ever  enjoyed  them,  but  they  have  made  their  way  into  numerous 


9616 


SIR  HENRY   MAINE 


other  communities,  and  occasionally  in  the  teeth  of  the  most  for- 
midable political  obstacles.  So  steady,  indeed,  and  so  resistless 
has  been  the  diffusion  of  this  Romanized  jurisprudence,  either  in 
its  original  or  in  a  slightly  modified  form,  that  the  civil  law  of 
the  whole  Continent  is  clearly  destined  to  be  absorbed  and  lost 
in  it.  It  is,  too,  we  should  add,  a  very  vulgar  error  to  suppose 
that  the  civil  part  of  the  codes  has  only  been  found  suited  to  a 
society  so  peculiarly  constituted  as  that  of  France.  With  alter- 
ations and  additions,  mostly  directed  to  the  enlargement  of  the 
testamentary  power  on  one  side  and  to  the  conservation  of  en- 
tails and  primogeniture  on  the  other,  they  have  been  admitted 
into  countries  whose  social  condition  is  as  unlike  that  of  France 
as  is  possible  to  conceive. 


9617 


XAVIER   DE  MAISTRE 

(1764-1852) 

lo  STUDENTS  of  French  literature  the  name  De  Maistre  suggests 
first,  Joseph  Marie  de  Maistre, — brilliant  philosopher,  stern 
and  eloquent  critic,  vain  opponent  of  revolutionary  ideas; 
but  the  general  reader  is  far  better  acquainted  with  his  younger 
brother  Xavier.  He  was  a  somewhat  da'shing  military  personage, 
a  striking  contrast  to  his  austere  senior,  loving  the  aesthetic  side  of 
life:  an  amateur  artist,  a  reader  of  many  books,  who  on  occasion 
could  write  charmingly. 

Born  in  Chambery  in  1764,  of  French 
descent,  he  entered  the  Sardinian  army, 
where  he  remained  until  the  annexation  of 
Savoy  to  France;  when,  finding  himself  an 
exile,  he  joined  his  brother,  then  envoy  to 
St.  Petersburg.  Later  he  entered  the  Rus- 
sian army;  married  in  Russia,  and  lived 
there  to  the  good  old  age  of  eighty-eight. 

Perhaps  the  idea  of  authorship  would 
never  have  occurred  to  the  active  soldier 
but  for  a  little  mishap.  A  love  affair  led 
to  a  duel;  and  he  was  arrested  and  impris- 
oned at  Turin  for  forty-two  days.  A  result 
of  this  leisure  was  the  ( Voyage  autour  de 

ma  Chambre >  (Journey  round  my  Room) ;  a  series  of  half  playful,  half 
philosophic  sketches,  whose  delicate  humor  and  sentiment  suggest  the 
influence  of  Laurence  Sterne.  Later  on,  he  submitted  the  manuscript 
to  his  much-admired  elder  brother,  who  liked  it  so  well  that  he  had 
it  published  by  way  of  pleasant  surprise.  He  was  less  complimentary 
to  a  second  and  somewhat  similar  work,  ( L'Expedition  Nocturne > 
(The  Nocturnal  Expedition),  and  his  advice  delayed  its  publication 
for  several  years. 

Xavier  de  Maistre  was  not  a  prolific  writer,  and  all  his  work  is 
included  in  one  small  volume.  Literature  was  merely  his  occasional 
pastime,  indulged  in  as  a  result  of  some  chance  stimulus.  A  conver- 
sation with  fellow-officers  suggests  an  old  experience,  and  he  goes 
home  and  writes  ( Le  Lepreux  de  la  Cite  d'Aoste }  (The  Leper  of 
Aoste),  a  pathetic  story,  strong  in  its  unstudied  sincerity  of  expression. 


XAVIER  DE  MAISTRE 


9618 


XAVIER  DE   MAISTRE 


Four  years  later  he  tells  another  little  tale,  <Les  Prisonniers  du 
Caucase  y  (The  Prisoners  of  the  Caucasus),  a  stirring  bit  of  adventure. 

His  last  story,  < La  Jeune  Siberienne >  (The  Siberian  Girl),  best 
known  as  retold  and  weakened  by  Madame  Cottin,  is  a  striking  pre- 
monition of  later  realism.  There  is  no  forcing  the  pathetic  effect 
in  the  history  of  the  heroic  young  daughter  who  braves  a  long  and 
terrible  journey  to  petition  the  Czar  for  her  father's  release  from 
Siberian  exile. 

The  charm  of  De  Maistre's  style  is  always  in  the  ease  and  sim- 
plicity of  the  telling.  In  his  own  time  he  was  very  popular;  and  his 
work  survives  with  little  loss  of  interest  to-day. 

THE  TRAVELING-COAT 
From  the  <Journey  round  My  Room.>     Copyright  1871,  by  Hurd  &  Houghton 

I  PUT  on  my  traveling-coat,  after  having  examined  it  with  a 
complacent  eye;  and  forthwith  resolved  to  write  a  chapter 

ad  hoc,  that   I  might  make  it  known  to  the  reader. 

The  form  and  usefulness  of  these  garments  being  pretty  gen- 
erally known,  I  will  treat  specially  of  their  influence  upon  the 
minds  of  travelers. 

My  winter  traveling-coat  is  made  of  the  warmest  and  softest 
stuff  I  could  meet  with.  It  envelops  me  entirely  from  head  to 
foot;  and  when  I  am  in  my  arm-chair,  with  my  hands  in  my 
pockets,  I  am  very  like  the  statue  of  Vishnu  one  sees  in  the 
pagodas  of  India. 

You  may,  if  you  will,  tax  me  with  prejudice  when  I  assert 
the  influence  a  traveler's  costume  exercises  upon  its  wearer.  At 
any  rate,  I  can  confidently  affirm  with  regard  to  this  matter  that 
it  would  appear  to  me  as  ridiculous  to  take  a  single  step  of  my 
journey  round  my  room  in  uniform,  with  my  sword  at  my  side, 
as  it  would  to  go  forth  into  the  world  in  my  dressing-gown. 
Were  I  to  find  myself  in  full  military  dress,  not  only  should 
I  be  unable  to  proceed  with  my  journey,  but  I  really  believe  I 
should  not  be  able  to  read  what  I  have  written  about  my  travels, 
still  less  to  understand  it. 

Does  this  surprise  you  ?  Do  we  not  every  day  meet  with  peo- 
ple who  fancy  they  are  ill  because  they  are  unshaven,  or  because 
some  one  has  thought  they  have  looked  poorly  and  told  them 
so  ?  Dress  has  such  influence  upon  men's  minds  that  there  are 
valetudinarians  who  think  themselves  in  better  health  than  usual 


XAVIER   DE   MAISTRE 


9619 


when  they  have  on  a  new  coat  and  well-powdered  wig.  They 
deceive  the  public  and  themselves  by  their  nicety  about  dress, 
until  one  finds  some  fine  morning  they  have  died  in  full  fig,  and 
their  death  startle?  everybody. 

And  in  the  class  of  men  among  whom  I  live,  how  many  there 
are  who,  finding  themselves  clothed  in  uniform,  firmly  believe 
they  are  officers,  until  the  unexpected  appearance  of  the  enemy 
shows  them  their  mistake.  And  more  than  this,  if  it  be  the 
king's  good  pleasure  to  allow  one  of  them  to  add  to  his  coat  a 
certain  trimming,  he  straightway  believes  himself  to  be  a  general; 
and  the  whole  army  gives  him  the  title  without  any  notion  of 
making  fun  of  him!  So  great  an  influence  has  a  coat  upon  the 
human  imagination! 

The  following  illustration  will  show  still  further  the  truth  of 
my  assertion:  — 

It  sometimes  happened  that  they  forgot  to  inform  the  Count 

de  some  days  beforehand  of  the  approach  of  his  turn  to 

mount  guard.  Early  one  morning,  on  the  very  day  on  which  this 
duty  fell  to  the  Count,  a  corporal  awoke  him  and  announced  the 
disagreeable  news.  But  the  idea  of  getting  up  there  and  then, 
putting  on  his  gaiters,  and  turning  out  without  having  thought 
about  it  the  evening  before,  so  disturbed  him  that  he  preferred 
reporting  himself  sick  and  staying  at  home  all  day.  So  he  put 
on  his  dressing-gown  and  sent  away  his  barber.  This  made  him 
look  pale  and  ill,  and  frightened  his  wife  and  family.  He  really 
did  feel  a  little  poorly. 

He  told  every  one  .he  was  not  very  well, —  partly  for  the  sake 
Z)f  appearances,  and  partly  because  he  positively  believed  himself 
to  be  indisposed.  Gradually  the  influence  of  the  dressing-gown 
began  to  work.  The  slops  he  was  obliged  to  take  upset  his 
stomach.  His  relations  and  friends  sent  to  ask  after  him.  He 
was  soon  quite  ill  enough  to  take  to  his  bed. 

In  the  evening  Dr.  Ranson  found  his  pulse  hard  and  feverish, 
and  ordered  him  to  be  bled  next  day. 

If  the  campaign  had  lasted  a  month  longer,  the  sick  man's 
case  would  have  been  past  cure. 

Now,  who  can  doubt  about  the  influence  of  traveling-coats 

upon  travelers,  if  he  reflect  that  poor  Count  de  thought 

more  than  once  that  he  was  about  to  perform  a  journey  to  the 
other  world  for  having  inopportunely  donned  his  dressing-gown 
in  this  ? 


9626  XAVIER  DE  MAISTRE 

A   FRIEND 
From  the  <  Journey  round  My  Room.*    Copyright  1871,  by  Kurd  &  Houghton 

I  HAD  a  friend.  Death  took  him  from  me.  He  was  snatched 
away  at  the  beginning  of  his  career,  at  the  moment  when 

his  friendship  had  become  a  pressing  need  to  my  heart.  We 
supported  one  another  in  the  hard  toil  of  war.  We  had  but 
one  pipe  between  us.  We  drank  out  of  the  same  cup.  We  slept 
beneath  the  same  tent.  And  amid  our  sad  trials,  the  spot  where 
we  lived  together  became  to  us  a  new  fatherland.  I  had  seen 
him  exposed  to  all  the  perils  of  a  disastrous  war.  Death  seemed 
to  spare  us  to  each  other.  His  deadly  missiles  were  exhausted 
around  my  friend  a  thousand  times  over  without  reaching  him. 
but  this  was  but  to  make  his  loss  more  painful  to  me.  The 
tumult  of  war,  and  the  enthusiasm  which  possesses  the  soul  at 
the  sight  of  danger,  might  have  prevented  his  sighs  from  pier- 
cing my  heart,  while  his  death  would  have  been  useful  to  his 
country  and  damaging  to  the  enemy.  Had  he  died  thus,  I  should 
have  mourned  him  less.  But  to  lose  him  amid  the  joys  of  our 
winter-quarters;  to  see  him  die  at  the  moment  when  he  seemed 
full  of  health,  and  when  our  intimacy  was  rendered  closer  by 
rest  and  tranquillity, —  ah,  this  was  a  blow  from  which  I  can 
never  recover! 

But  his  memory  lives  in  my  heart,  and  there  alone.  He  is 
forgotten  by  those  who  surrounded  him  and  who  have  replaced 
him.  And  this  makes  his  loss  the  more  sad  to  me. 

Nature,  in  like  manner  indifferent  to  the  fate  of  individuals^ 
dons  her  green  spring  robe,  and  decks  herself  in  all  her  beauty 
near  the  cemetery  where  he  rests.  The  trees  cover  themselves 
with  foliage,  and  intertwine  their  branches;  the  birds  warble  under 
the  leafy  sprays;  the  insects  hum  among  the  blossoms:  every- 
thing breathes  joy  in  this  abode  of  death. 

And  in  the  evening,  when  the  moon  shines  in  the  sky,  and  I 
am  meditating  in  this  sad  place,  I  hear  the  grasshopper,  hidden 
in  the  grass  that  covers  the  silent  grave  of  my  friend,  merrily 
pursuing  his  unwearied  song.  The  unobserved  destruction  of 
human  beings,  as  well  as  all  their  misfortunes,  are  counted  for 
nothing  in  the  grand  total  of  events. 

The  death  of  an  affectionate  man  who  breathes  his  last  sur- 
rounded by  his  afflicted  friends,  and  that  of  a  butterfly  killed  in 
a  flower's  cup  by  the  chill  air  of  morning,  are  but  two  similar 


XAVIER   DE   MAISTRE 

epochs  in  the  course  of  nature.  Man  is  but  a  phantom,  a 
shadow,  a  mere  'vapor  that  melts  into  the  air. 

But  daybreak  begins  to  whiten  the  sky.  The  gloomy  thoughts 
that  troubled  me  vanish  with  the  darkness,  and  hope  awakens 
again  in  my  heart.  No!  He  who  thus  suffuses  the  east  with 
light  has  not  made  it  to  shine  upon  my  eyes  only  to  plunge  me 
into  the  night  of  annihilation.  He  who  has  spread  out  that  vast 
horizon,  who  raised  those  lofty  mountains  whose  icy  tops  the  sun 
is  even  now  gilding,  is  also  he  who  made  my  heart  to  beat  and 
my  mind  to  think. 

No!  My  friend  is  not  annihilated.  Whatever  may  be  the 
barrier  that  separates  us,  I  shall  see  him  again.  My  hopes  are 
based  on  no  mere  syllogism.  The  flight  of  an  insect  suffices  to 
persuade  me.  And  often  the  prospect  of  the  surrounding  coun- 
try, the  perfume  of  the  air,  and  an  indescribable  charm  which 
is  spread  around  me,  so  raise  my  thoughts,  that  an  invincible 
proof  of  immortality  forces  itself  upon  my  soul,  and  fills  it  to  the 
full. 


THE   LIBRARY 
From  the  ( Journey  round  My  Room*:  Copyright  1871,  by  Hurd  &  Houghton 

I  PROMISED  to  give  a  dialogue  between  my  soul  and  the  OTHER. 
But  there  are  some  chapters  which  elude  me,  as  it  were;  or 

rather,  there  are  others  which  flow  from  my  pen  nolens  volens, 
and  derange  my  plans.  Among  these  is  one  about  my  library; 
and  I  will  make  it  as  short  as  I  can.  Our  forty-two  days  will 
soon  be  ended ;  and  even  were  it  not  so,  a  similar  period  would 
not  suffice  to  complete  the  description  of  the  rich  country  in 
which  I  travel  so  pleasantly. 

My  library,  then,  is  composed  of  novels,  if  I  must  make  the 
confession  —  of  novels  and  a  few  choice  poets. 

As  if  I  had  not  troubles  enough  of  my  own,  I  share  those  of 
a  thousand  imaginary  personages,  and  I  feel  them  as  acutely  as 
my  own.  How  many  tears  have  I  shed  for  that  poor  Clarissa, 
and  for  Charlotte's  lover! 

But  if  I  go  out  of  my  way  in  .search  of  unreal  afflictions,  I 
find  in  return  such  virtue,  kindness,  and  disinterestedness  in  this 
imaginary  world,  as  I  have  never  yet  found  united  in  the  real 
world  around  me.  I  meet  with  a  woman  after  my  heart's  desire, 


9622 


XAVIER   DE   MAISTRE 


free  from  whim,  lightness,  and  affectation.  I  say  nothing  about 
beauty:  this  I  can  leave  to  my  imagination,  and  picture  her  fault- 
lessly beautiful.  And  then  closing  the  book,  which  no  longer 
keeps  pace  with  my  ideas,  I  take  the  fair  one  by  the  hand,  and 
we  travel  together  over  a  country  a  thousand  times  more  delight- 
ful than  Eden  itself.  What  painter  could  represent  the  fairyland 
in  which  I  have  placed  the  goddess  of  my  heart?  What  poet 
could  ever  describe  the  lively  and  manifold  sensations  I  experi- 
ence in  those  enchanted  regions  ? 

How  often  have  I  cursed  that  Cleveland,  who  is  always  em- 
barking upon  new  troubles  which  he  might  very  well  avoid!  I 
cannot  endure  that  book,  with  its  long  list  of  calamities.  But  if 
I  open  it  by  way  of  distraction,  I  cannot  help  devouring  it  to 
the  end. 

For  how  could  I  leave  that  poor  man  among  the  Abaquis  ? 
What  would  become  of  him  in  the  hands  of  those  savages  ?  Still 
less  dare  I  leave  him  in  his  attempt  to  escape  from  captivity. 

Indeed,  I  so  enter  into  his  sorrows,  I  am  so  interested  in  him 
and  in  his  unfortunate  family,  that  the  sudden  appearance  of  the 
ferocious  Ruintons  makes  my  hair  stand  on  end.  When  I  read 
that  passage  a  cold  perspiration  covers  me;  and  my  fright  is  as 
lively  and  real  as  if  I  were  going  to  be  roasted  and  eaten  by  the 
monsters  myself. 

When  I  have  had  enough  of  tears  and  love,  I  turn  to  some 
poet,  and  set  out  again  for  a  new  world. 


9623 


WILLIAM  HURRELL  MALLOCK 

(i849-) 

IILLIAM  HURRELL  MALLOCK  is  the  interesting  product  of  the 
interesting  period  in  which  he  was  educated  and  the  inter- 
esting conditions  of  his  social  life.  Well  born,  well  bred, 
well  fed,  well  read,  well  supplied  with  luxuries,  well  disciplined  at  the 
wicket  and  the  oar,  the  son  of  a  clergyman  of  the  Church  of  England 
(Rev.  Roger  Mallock)  and  the  nephew  of  James  Anthony  and  Richard 
Hurrell  Froude,  he  was  educated  at  home  by  private  tutors  till  he 
entered  Balliol  College,  Oxford.  There  he  took  a  second  class  in  final 
classicals,  and  in  1871  the  Newdigate  poet- 
ical prize,  the  subject  of  his  poem  being 
<The  Isthmus  of  Suez.' 

In  1876  he  published  <The  New  Repub- 
lic, *  which  first  appeared  in  a  magazine. 
The  first  impression  of  the  book  is  its 
audacity,  the  second  its  cleverness;  but 
when  one  has  gotten  well  into  its  leisurely 
pages,  and  has  found  himself  in  what  seems 
to  be  the  veritable  company  of  Huxley, 
Matthew  Arnold,  Ruskin,  Professor  Clifford, 
Walter  Pater,  Professor  Jowett,  and  Mr. 
Tyndall,  he  is  penetrated  with  the  convic- 
tion that  the  work  is  the  perfected  flower 
of  the  art  of  delicate  characterization.  The 

parodies  are  so  good  that  they  read  like  reminiscences  enlivened  with 
the  lightest  touch  of  extravaganza. 

The  sub-title  of  <  The  New  Republic  >  —  <  Culture,  Faith,  and  Phi- 
losophy in  an  English  Country-House  > — indicates  its  plan.  A  young 
man  of  fortune  and  distinction  assembles  at  his  villa  a  party  of  vis- 
itors, who  under  thin  disguises  represent  the  leading  thinkers  of  the 
day.  The  company  plays  at  constructing  an  ideal  republic,  which 
is  to  be  the  latest  improvement  on  Plato's  commonwealth.  To  facil- 
itate the  discussion,  the  host  writes  the  titles  of  the  subjects  to  be 
talked  about  on  the  back  of  the  menus  of  their  first  dinner:  they 
prove  to  be  such  seductive  themes  as  <The  Aim  of  Life,*  ( Society, 
Art,  and  Literature,*  ( Riches  and  Civilization, y  and  (The  Present  and 
the  Future. J 

In  the  expression  of  opinion  that  follows,  the  peculiarities  and 
inconsistencies  of  the  famous  personages  are  hit  off  with  delicious 


1 


WILLIAM   H.   MALLOCK 


9624  WILLIAM  HURRELL  MALLOCK 

appositeness.  The  first  principle  of  the  proposed  New  Republic  is  to 
destroy  all  previous  republics.  Mr.  Storks  ( Professor  Huxley )  elimi- 
nates a  conscious  directing  intelligence  from  the  world  of  matter. 
Mr.  Stockton  (Professor  Tyndall)  eliminates  the  poetry  and  romance 
of  the  imagination,  substituting  those  of  the  wonders  of  science. 
The  materialist,  Mr.  Saunders  (Professor  Clifford),  eliminates  the  <(foul 
superstition >}  of  the  existence  of  God  and  the  scheme  of  salvation 
through  the  merits  of  Christ.  Mr.  Luke  (Matthew  Arnold)  who  is 
represented  as  mournfully  strolling  about  the  lawn  in  the  moonlight, 
reciting  his  own  poems, — poems  which  puzzle  us  in  their  oscillation 
between  mirth  and  moralizing,  till  an  italicized  line  warns  us  to  be 
wary, — Mr.  Luke  eliminates  the  middle  classes.  Mr.  Rose  (Walter 
Pater)  eliminates  religious  belief  as  a  serious  verity,  but  retains  it 
as  an  artistic  finish  and  decorative  element  in  life.  Dr.  Jenkinson 
(Professor  Jowett)  in  a  sermon  which  he  might  have  preached  in 
Balliol  Chapel,  and  his  habitual  audience  have  heard  without  the 
lifting  of  an  eyebrow,  eliminates  the  <(bad  taste w  of  conviction  on 
any  subject.  Finally  Mr.  Herbert  (Mr.  Ruskin),  descending  upon  the 
reformers  in  a  burst  of  vituperation,  eliminates  the  upper  classes, 
because  they  neither  have  themselves  nor  furnish  the  lower  orders 
any  object  to  live  for.  The  outcome  of  the  discussion  is  predicted  on 
the  title-page:  — 

«A11  is  jest  and  ashes  and  nothingness;  for  all  things  that  are,  are  of 
folly.» 

So  much  space  has  been  given  to  Mr.  Mallock's  first  book  because 
it  is  representative  of  his  quality,  and  discloses  the  line  of  his  sub- 
sequent thinking.  Only  once  again  does  he  permit  himself  the 
relaxation  of  an  irresponsible  and  clever  parody, — that  on  Positivism 
in  *The  New  Paul  and  Virginia  *;  wherein  the  germ  revealed  in  the 
sketches  of  Huxley  and  his  fellow  scientists  is  more  fully  developed, 
to  the  disedification  of  the  serious-minded,  who  complain  that  the 
representatives  of  Prometheus  are  dragged  down  to  earth. 

But  the  shades  of  the  mighty  whom  he  ridiculed  have  played  a 
curious  trick  on  Mr.  Mallock.  As  Emerson  says  of  the  soul  of  the 
dead  warrior,  which,  entering  the  breast  of  the  conqueror,  takes  up 
its  abode  there, —  so  the  wraiths  of  doubt,  materialism,  discontent, 
Philistinism,  and  the  many  upsetting  emotions  which  the  clever  satir- 
ist disposed  of  with  a  jest,  entered  his  own  hypersensitive  organism, 
and,  for  all  the  years  succeeding,  sent  him  about  among  the  men 
of  his  generation  sharing  with  Ruskin  the  burden  of  their  salvation. 
Nor  does  he  propose  to  let  any  sense  of  his  own  limitations  as  a 
prophet  interfere  with  the  delivery  of  his  message.  In  a  volume  of 
several  hundred  pages  he  asks  a  nineteenth-century  audience,  <  Is 
Life  Worth  Living  ? J  Can  we,  he  demands  in  substance,  like  his  own 


WILLIAM  HURRELL  MALLOCK 


9625 


Mr.  Herbert,  go  on  buying  blue  china  and  enjoying  the  horse-show 
and  the  ><(  season,  *  and  our  little  trips  to  Paris,  and  first  editions  in 
rare  bindings,  if  we  are  not  sure  that  these  tastes  will  be  gratified 
in  another  world  ?  In  his  mind,  the  reply  to  this  question  resolves 
itself  into  the  necessity  for  a  final  authority, — an  authority  which  he 
himself  discovers  in  the  voice  of  the  Church  of  Rome. 

He  is  an  indefatigable  worker.  As  a  novelist  he  belongs  to  the 
sentimental  school,  in  which  a  craving  for  sympathy  and  a  marked 
tendency  to  reject  conventional  standards  characterizes  all  his  men 
and  many  of  his  women.  Because  he  has  written  them,  his  stories 
are  never  dull;  they  abound  in  epigram,  sketches  of  character,  and 
wise  reflections:  but  the  plots  are  slightly  woven  and  hang  at  loose 
ends,  while  a  denouement  is  as  deliberately  ignored  as  if  the  author 
were  a  pupil  of  Zola.  His  novels  or  romances  are  <A  Romance  of 
the  Nineteenth  Century,)  (The  Old  Order  Changeth,)  (A  Human  Doc- 
ument,) (The  Heart  of  Life,)  and  (The  Veil  of  the  Temple)  (1904). 

As  an  essayist  he  is  widely  read.  He  was  one  of  the  famous 
five  who  took  part  in  the  Christianity  vs.  Agnosticism  controversy,  in 
which  Bishop  Wace  and  Mr.  Huxley  were  the  champions.  He  has 
written  two  volumes  of  poems,  translated  Lucretius;  and  his  varied 
magazine  articles,  collected  in  book  form,  have  been  published  under 
the  titles  of  ( Social  Equality >  (London,  1882),  ( Property,  Progress, 
and  Poverty)  (1884),  (Classes  and  Masses;  or,  Wealth  and  Wages 
in  the  United  Kingdom)  (1896),  (Aristocracy  and  Evolution)  (1898), 
(Doctrine  and  Doctrinal  Disruption)  (1900),  ( Critical  Examinations  of 
Socialism)  (1907),  (The  Nation  as  a  Business  Firm)  (1910),  etc. 

In  these  volumes,  mostly  on  social  topics,  Mr.  Mallock  presents 
himself  as  a  sedate  Conservative,  committed  to  hereditary  legisla- 
tion, the  sacredness  of  the  game  laws,  the  Doomsday  Book,  and  the 
rest  of  medisevalism.  Against  democratic  theories  concerning  social 
equality,  labor,  and  property,  he  sets  up  the  counter  proposition  that 
labor  is  not  the  cause  of  wealth,  and  of  itself  would  be  powerless  to 
produce  it.  As  for  social  equality,  he  sees  that  diversity  of  station  is 
a  part  of  the  framework  that  holds  society  together. 

These  books  are  written  in  a  serious  manner.  But  it  is  an  axiom  that 
the  successful  advocate  must  give  the  impression  that  he  himself  has 
no  doubt  of  his  cause.  This  Mr.  Mallock  almost  never  does.  The 
more  positive  his  plea,  the  more  visible  between  the  lines  is  the 
mocking,  unconvinced  expression  of  the  author's  other  self.  More- 
over, his  fastidious  discontent,  and  the  subtlety  of  mind  which  is  the 
greatest  perhaps  of  his  many  charms,  point  him  toward  some  un- 
explored quarter,  where,  as  he  has  not  investigated  it,  he  fancies  the 
truth  may  lie.  The  reader  of  Mallock  goes  to  him  for  witty  com- 
ment, satire,  suggestion;  and  to  get  into  a  certain  high-bred  society 


9626  WILLIAM  HURRELL  MALLOCK 

where  the  scholar  is  at  home  and  the  gospel  of  good-breeding  is 
preached.  But  that  reader  will  never  know  in  what  social  system  of 
the  past  —  in  slavery,  feudalism,  or  absolutism  —  Mallock's  Utopia  is 
to  be  sought. 


AN   EVENING'S  TABLE-TALK  AT  THE  VILLA 
From  <The  New  Republic  > 

No  PROPOSAL  could  have  been  happier  than  Lady  Grace's,  of 
the  garden  banquet  in  the  pavilion.  It  seemed  to  the 
guests,  when  they  were  all  assembled  there,  that  the  lovely 
summer's  day  was  going  to  close  with  a  scene  from  fairy-land. 
The  table  itself,  with  its  flowers  and  glowing  fruit,  and  its  many- 
colored  Venetian  glass,  shone  and  gleamed  and  sparkled  in  the 
evening  light,  that  was  turning  outside  to  a  cool  mellow  amber; 
and  above,  from  the  roof,  in  which  the  dusk  was  already  dark- 
ness, hung  china  lamps  in  the  shape  of  green  and  purple  grape 
clusters,  looking  like  luminous  fruit  stolen  from  Aladdin's  garden. 
The  pavilion,  open  on  all  sides,  was  supported  on  marble  pillars 
that  were  almost  hidden  in  red  and  white  roses.  Behind,  the  eye 
rested  on  great  tree  trunks  and  glades  of  rich  foliage ;  and  before, 
it  would  pass  over  turf  and  flowers,  till  it  reached  the  sea  be- 
yond, on  which  in  another  hour  the  faint  silver  of  the  moonlight 
would  begin  to  tremble. 

There  was  something  in  the  whole  scene  that  was  at  once 
calming  and  exhilarating;  and  nearly  all  present  seemed  to  feel 
in  some  measure  this  double  effect  of  it.  Dr.  Jenkinson  had 
been  quite . restored  by  an  afternoon's  nap;  and  his  face  was  now 
all  a-twinkle  with  a  fresh  benignity, —  that  had,  however,  like  an 
early  spring  morning,  just  a  faint  suspicion  of  frost  in  it.  Mr. 
Storks  even  was  less  severe  than  usual;  and  as  he  raised  his 
champagne  to  his  lips,  he  would  at  times  look  very  nearly  con- 
versational. 

<(  My  dear  Laurence, y>  exclaimed  Mr.  Herbert,  <(  it  really 
almost  seems  as  if  your  visions  of  the  afternoon  had  come  true, 
and  that  we  actually  were  in  your  New  Republic  already.  I  can 
only  say  that  if  it  is  at  all  like  this,  it  will  be  an  entirely  charm- 
ing place  —  too  charming,  perhaps.  But  now  remember  this: 
you  have  but  half  got  through  the  business  to  which  you  first 
addressed  yourselves, —  that  of  forming  a  picture  of  a  perfect 


WILLIAM  HURRELL  MALLOCK  9627 

aristocracy,  an  aristocracy  in  the  true  and  genuine  sense  of  the 
word.  You  are  all  to  have  culture,  or  taste.  Very  good:  you 
have  talked  a  great  deal  about  that,  and  you  have  seen  what  you 
mean  by  it;  and  you  have  recognized,  above  all,  that  it  includes 
a  discrimination  between  right  and  wrong.  But  now  you,  with 
all  this  taste  and  culture, —  you  gifted  men  and  women  of  the 
nineteenth  century, —  what  sort  of  things  does  your  taste  teach 
you  to  reach  out  towards  ?  In  what  actions  and  aims,  in  what 
affections  and  emotions,  would  you  place  your  happiness  ?  That 
is  what  I  want  to  hear, —  the  practical  manifestations  of  this 
culture. 9 

<(Ah, w  said  Mr.  Rose,  <(  I  have  at  this  moment  a  series  of 
essays  in  the  press,  which  would  go  far  towards  answering  these 
questions  of  yours.  They  do  indeed  deal  with  just  this:  the 
effect  of  the  choicer  culture  of  this  century  on  the  soul  of  man; 
the  ways  in  which  it  endows  him  with  new  perceptions;  how  it 
has  made  him,  in  fact,  a  being  altogether  more  highly  organ- 
ized. All  I  regret  is  that  these  choicer  souls,  these  Xapievres,  are 
as  yet  like  flowers  that  have  not  found  a  climate  in  which  they 
can  thrive  properly.  That  mental  climate  will  doubtless  come 
with  time.  What  we  have  been  trying  to  do  this  afternoon  is,  I 
imagine,  nothing  more  than  to  anticipate  it  in  imagination. }) 

"Well,"  said  Mr.  Herbert,  with  a  little  the  tone  of  an  Inquis- 
itor, "that  is  just  what  I  have  been  asking.  What  will  this 
climate  be  like,  and  what  will  these  flowers  be  like  in  this  cli- 
mate ?  How  would  your  culture  alter  and  better  the  present,  if 
its  powers  were  equal  to  its  wishes  ? w 

Mr.  Rose's  soft  lulling  tone  harmonized  well  with  the  scene 
and  hour,  and  the  whole  party  seemed  willing  to  listen  to  him; 
or  at  any  rate,  no  one  felt  any  prompting  to  interrupt  him. 

<(  I  can  show  you  an  example,  Mr.  Herbert, >}  he  said,  <(  of 
culture  demanding  a  finer  climate,  in  —  if  you  will  excuse  my 
seeming  egoism  —  in  myself.  For  instance  (to  take  the  widest 
matter  i  can  fix  upon,  the  general  outward  surroundings  of  our 
lives), —  often,  when  I  walk  about  London,  and  see  how  hideous 
its  whole  external  aspect  is,  and  what  a  dissonant  population 
throng  it,  a  chill  feeling  of  despair  comes  over  me.  Consider 
how  the  human  eye  delights  in  form  and  color,  and  the  ear  in 
tempered  and  harmonious  sounds;  and  then  think  for  a  moment 
of  a  London  street!  Think  of  the  shapeless  houses,  the  forest  of 
ghastly  chimney-pots,  of  the  hell  of  distracting  noises  made  by 


9628 


WILLIAM  HURRELL  MALLOCK 


the  carts,  the  cabs,  the  carriages;  think  of  the  bustling-,  common- 
place, careworn  crowds  that  jostle  you;  think  of  an  omnibus, 
think  of  a  four-wheeler — )} 

<(  I  often  ride  in  an  omnibus, w  said  Lord  Allen,  with  a  slight 
smile,  to  Miss  Merton. 

<(  It  is  true, >J  replied  Mr.  Rose,  only  overhearing  the  tone  in 
which  these  words  were  said,  (<  that  one  may  ever  and  again 
catch  some  touch  of  sunlight  that  will  for  a  moment  make  the 
meanest  object  beautiful  with  its  furtive  alchemy.  But  that  is 
Nature's  work,  not  man's;  and  we  must  never  confound  the 
accidental  beauty  that  Nature  will  bestow  on  man's  work,  even 
at  its  worst,  with  the  rational  and  designed  beauty  of  man's 
work  at  its  best.  It  is  this  rational  human  beauty  that  I  say 
our  modern  city  life  is  so  completely  wanting  in;  nay,  the  look 
of  out-of-door  London  seems  literally  to  stifle  the  very  power  of 
imagining  such  beauty  possible.  Indeed,  as  I  wander  along  our 
streets,  pushing  my  way  among  the  throngs  of  faces, — faces 
puckered  with  misdirected  thought  or  expressionless  with  none; 
barbarous  faces  set  towards  Parliament,'  or  church,  or  scientific 
lecture-rooms,  or  government  offices,  or  counting-houses, —  I  say, 
as  I  push  my  way  amongst  all  the  sights  and  sounds  of  the 
streets  of  our  great  city,  only  one  thing  ever  catches  my  eye 
that  breaks  in  upon  my  mood  and  warns  me  I  need  not  de- 
spair. M 

(<And  what  is  that  ? "  asked  Allen  with  some  curiosity. 

(<The  shops,"  Mr.  Rose  answered,  <(  of  certain  of  our  uphol- 
sterers and  dealers  in  works  of  art.  Their  windows,  as  I  look 
into  them,  act  like  a  sudden  charm  on  me;  like  a  splash  of  cold 
water  dashed  on  my  forehead  when  I  am  fainting.  For  I  seem 
there  to  have  got  a  glimpse  of  the  real  heart  of  things ;  and  as 
my  eyes  rest  on  the  perfect  pattern  (many  of  which  are  really 
quite  delicious;  indeed,  when  I  go  to  ugly  houses,  I  often  take 
a  scrap  of  some  artistic  cretonne  with  me  in  my  pocket  as  a 
kind  of  aesthetic  smelling-salts) ,  —  I  say,  when  I  look  in  at  their 
windows,  and  my  eyes  rest  on  the  perfect  pattern  of  some  new 
fabric  for  a  chair  or  for  a  window  curtain,  or  on  some  new  de- 
sign for  a  wall  paper,  or  on  some  old  china  vase,  I  become  at 
once  sharply  conscious,  Mr.  Herbert,  that  despite  the  ungenial 
mental  climate  of  the  present  age,  strange  yearnings  for  and 
knowledge  of  true  beauty  are  beginning  to  show  themselves  like 
flowers  above  the  weedy  soil;  and  I  remember,  amidst  the  roar 


WILLIAM  HURRELL  MALLOCK  9629 

and  clatter  of  our  streets,  and  the  mad  noises  of  our  own  times, 
that  there  is  amongst  us  a  growing  number  who  have  deliber- 
ately turned  their  backs  on  all  these  things,  and  have  thrown 
their  whole  souls  and  sympathies  into  the  happier  art  ages  of  the 
past.  They  have  gone  back,"  said  Mr.  Rose,  raising  his  voice  a 
little,  <(to  Athens  and  to  Italy;  to  the  Italy  of  Leo  and  to  the 
Athens  of  Pericles.  To  such  men  the  clamor,  the  interests,  the 
struggles  of  our  own  times  become  as  meaningless  as  they  really 
are.  To  them  the  boyhood  of  Bathyllus  is  of  more  moment  than 
the  manhood  of  Napoleon.  Borgia  is  a  more  familiar  name  than 
Bismarck.  I  know,  indeed,  —  and  I  really  do  not  blame  them,  — 
several  distinguished  artists  who,  resolving  to  make  their  whole 
lives  consistently  perfect,  will  on  principle  never  admit  a .  news- 
paper into  their  houses  that  is  of  later  date  than  the  times  of 
Addison:  and  I  have  good  trust  that  the  number  of  such  men 
is  on  the  increase;  men,  I  mean,"  said  Mr.  Rose,  toying-  tenderly 
with  an  exquisite  wine-glass  of  Salviati's,  "who  with  a  steady 
and  set  purpose  follow  art  for  the  sake  of  art,  beauty  for  the 
sake  of  beauty,  love  for  the  sake  of  love,  life  for  the  sake  of 
life." 

Mr.  Rose's  slow  gentle  voice,  which  was  apt  at  certain  times 
to  become  peculiarly  irritating,  sounded  now  like  the-  evening  air 
grown  articulate;  and  had  secured  him  hitherto  a  tranquil  hear- 
ing, as  if  by  a  kind  of  spell.  This,  however,  seemed  here  in 
sudden  danger  of  snapping. 

<(  What,  Mr.  Rose ! "  exclaimed  Lady  Ambrose,  (<  do  you  mean 
to  say,  then,  that  the  number  of  people  is  on  the  increase  who 
won't  read  the  newspapers  ?  " 

<(Why,  the  men  must  be  absolute  idiots  !*  said  Lady  Grace, 
shaking  her  gray  curls,  and  putting  on  her  spectacles  to  look  at 
Mr.  Rose. 

Mr,   Rose,  however,  was  imperturbable. 

<(  Of  course,"  he  said,  <(you  may  have  newspapers  if  you  will; 
I  myself  always  have  them :  though  in  general  they  are  too  full 
of  public  events  to  be  of  much  interest.  I  was  merely  speaking 
just  now  of  the  spirit  of  the  movement.  And  of  that  we  must 
all  of  us  here  have  some  knowledge.  We  must  all  of  us  have 
friends  whose  houses  more  or  less  embody  it.  And  even  if  we 
had  not,  we  could  not  help  seeing  signs  of  it  —  signs  of  how  true 
and  earnest  it  is,  in  the  enormous  sums  that  are  now  given  for 
really  good  objects. J> 


9630 


WILLIAM  HURRELL  MALLOCK 


"That,"  said  Lady  Grace,  with  some  tartness,  (<is  true  enough, 
thank  God!" 

<(But  I  can't  see,"  said  Lady  Ambrose,  whose  name  often 
figured  in  the  Times,  in  the  subscription  lists  of  advertised  chari- 
ties,— <(  I  can't  see,  Mr.  Rose,  any  reason  in  that  why  we  should 
not  read  the  newspapers." 

<(The  other  day,  for  instance,"  said  Mr.  Rose  reflectively, 
al  heard  of  eight  Chelsea  shepherdesses  picked  up  by  a  dealer, 
I  really  forget  where, —  in  some  common  cottage,  if  I  recollect 
aright,  covered  with  dirt,  giving  no  pleasure  to  any  one, —  and 
these  were  all  sold  in  a  single  day,  and  not  one  of  them  fetched 
Jess  than  two  hundred  and  twenty  pounds." 

(</  can't  help  thinking  they  must  have  come  from  Cremorne," 
said  Mrs.  Sinclair  softly. 

(<  But  why,"  said  Mr.  Rose,  (<  should  I  speak  of  particular 
instances  ?  We  must  all  of  us  have  friends  whose  houses  are 
full  of  priceless  treasures  such  as  these;  the  whole  atmosphere  of 
whose  rooms  really  seems  impregnated  with  art, —  seems,  in  fact, 
Mr.  Herbert,  such  an  atmosphere  as  we  should  dream  of  for  our 
New  Republic.  " 

<(  To  be  sure, "  exclaimed  Lady  Ambrose,  feeling  that  she 
had  at  last  got  upon  solid  ground.  <(By  the  way,  Mr.  Rose," 
she  said  with  her  most  gracious  of  smiles,  <(  I  suppose  you  have 
hardly  seen  Lady  Julia  Hayman's  new  house  in  Belgrave  Square  ? 
I'm  sure  that  would  delight  you.  I  should  like  to  take  you  there 
some  day  and  show  it  to  you." 

<(I  have  seen  it,"  said  Mr.  Rose  with  languid  condescension. 
<(  It  was  very  pretty,  I  thought, —  some  of  it  really  quite  nice." 

This,  and  the  slight  rudeness  of  manner  it  was  said  with, 
raised  Mr.  Rose  greatly  in  Lady  Ambrose's  estimation,  and  she 
began  to  think  with  respect  of  his  late  utterances. 

<(Well,  Mr.  Herbert,"  Mr.  Rose  went  on,  (<what  I  want  to 
say  is  this:  We  have  here  in  the  present  age,  as  it  is,  fragments 
of  the  right  thing.  We  have  a  number  of  isolated  right  interiors; 
we  have  a  few,  very  few,  right  exteriors.  But  in  our  ideal  State, 
our  entire  city  —  our  London,  the  metropolis  of  our  society  — 
would  be  as  a  whole  perfect  as  these  fragments.  Taste  would 
not  there  be  merely  an  indoor  thing.  It  would  be  written  visi- 
bly for  all  to  look  upon,  in  our  streets,  our  squares,  our  gardens. 
Could  we  only  mold  England  to  our  wishes,  the  thing  to  do,  I 
am  persuaded,  would  be  to  remove  London  to  some  kindlier  site, 


WILLIAM   HURRELL   MALLOCK 


9631 


that  it  might  there  be  altogether  horn  anew.  I  myself  would 
have  it  taken  to  the  southwest,  and  to  the  sea-coast,  where  the 
waves  are  blue,  and  where  the  air  is  calm  and  fine,  and  there  — " 

(<  Ah  me ! }>  sighed  Mr.  Luke  with  a  lofty  sadness,  (<  coelum  non 
animam  mutant.^ 

(<  Pardon  me,"  said  Mr.  Rose:  <(few  paradoxes  —  and  most  para- 
doxes are  false  —  are,  I  think,  so  false  as  that.  This  much  at 
least  of  sea-like  man's  mind  has:  that  scarcely  anything  so  dis- 
tinctly gives  a  tone  to  it  as  the  color  of  the  skies  he  lives  under. 
And  I  was  going  to  say, w  he  went  on,  looking  out  dreamily 
towards  the  evening  waves,  "that  as  the  imagination  is  a  quick 
workman,  I  can  at  this  moment  see  our  metropolis  already  trans- 
planted and  rebuilt.  I  seem  to  see  it  now  as  it  were  from  a 
distance,  with  its  palaces,  its  museums,  its  churches,  its  convents, 
its  gardens,  its  picture  galleries, —  a  cluster  of  domed  and  pillared 
marble,  sparkling  on  a  gray  headland.  It  is  Rome,  it  is  Athens, 
it  is  Florence,  arisen  and  come  to  life  again,  in  these  modern 
days.  The  aloe-tree  of  beauty  again  blossoms  there,  under  the 
azure  stainless  sky." 

<(  Do  you  know,  Mr.  Rose, }>  said  Lady  Ambrose  in  her  most 
cordial  manner,  (<all  this  is  very  beautiful;  and  certainly  no  one 
can  think  London  as  it  is  more  ugly  than  I  do.  That's  natural 
in  me,  isn't  it,  being  a  denizen  of  poor  prosaic  South  Audley 
Street  as  I  am  ?  But  don't  you  think  that  your  notion  is — • 
it's  very  beautiful,  I  quite  feel  that  —  but  don't  you  think  it  is 
perhaps  a  little  too  dream -like  —  too  unreal,  if  you  know  what  I 
mean  ? }) 

*  Such  a  city,  *  said  Mr.  Rose  earnestly,  (<  is  indeed  a  dream ; 
but  it  is  a  dream  which  we  might  make  a  reality,  would  circum- 
stances only  permit  of  it.  We  have  many  amongst  us  who  know 
what  is  beautiful,  and  who  passionately  desire  it;  and  would 
others  only  be  led  by  these,  it  is  quite  conceivable  that  we  might 
some  day  have  a  capital,  the  entire  aspect  of  which  should  be 
the  visible  embodiment  of  our  finest  and  most  varied  culture,  oui 
most  sensitive  taste,  and  our  deepest  aesthetic  measure  of  things. 
This  is  what  this  capital  of  our  New  Republic  must  be,  this 
dwelling-place  of  our  ideal  society.  We  shall  have  houses,  gal- 
leries, streets,  theatres,  such  as  Giulio  Romano  or  Giorgio  Vasari 
or  Giulio  Campi  would  have  rejoiced  to  look  at;  we  shall  have 
metal-work  worthy  of  the  hand  of  Ghiberti  and  the  praise  of 
Michel  Angelo;  we  shall  rival  Domenico  Beccafumi  with  our 
pavements.  As  you  wander  through  our  thoroughfares  and  our 


9632  WILLIAM  HURRELL  MALLOCK 

gardens,  your  feelings  will  not  be  jarred  by  the  presence  of 
human  vulgarity,  or  the  desolating  noise  of  traffic;  nor  in  every 
spare  space  will  your  eyes  be  caught  by  abominable  advertise- 
ments of  excursion  trains  to  Brighton,  or  of  Horniman's  cheap 
tea.  They  will  rest  instead,  here  on  an  exquisite  fountain,  here 
on  a  statue,  here  on  a  bust  of  Zeus  or  Hermes  or  Aphrodite, 
glimmering  in  a  laureled  nook;  or  on  a  Mater  Dolor osa  looking 
down  on  you  from  her  holy  shrine;  or  on  the  carved  marble 
gate-posts  of  our  palace  gardens,  or  on  their  wrought-iron  or 
wrought-bronze  gates;  or  perhaps  on  such  triumphal  arches  as 
that  which  Antonio  San  Gallo  constructed  in  honor  of  Charles  V., 
and  of  which  you  must  all  remember  the  description  given  by 
Vasari.  Such  a  city,"  said  Mr.  Rose,  ((  would  be  the  externaliza- 
tion  of  the  human  spirit  in  the  highest  state  of  development  that 
we  can  conceive  for  it.  We  should  there  see  expressed  openly 
all  our  appreciations  of  all  the  beauty  that  we  can  detect  in  the 
world's  whole  history.  The  wind  of  the  spirit  that  breathed 
there  would  blow  to  us  from  all  the  places  of  the  past,  and  be 
charged  with  infinite  odors.  Every  frieze  on  our  walls,  every 
clustered  capital  of  a  marble  column,  would  be  a  garland  or  nose- 
gay of  associations.  Indeed,  our  whole  city,  as  compared  with 
the  London  that  is  now,  would  be  itself  a  nosegay  as  compared 
with  a  faggot;  and  as  related  to  the  life  that  I  would  see  lived 
in  it,  it  would  be  like  a  shell  murmuring  with  all  the  world's 
memories,  and  held  to  the  ear  of  the  two  twins  Life  and  Love." 

Mr.  Rose  had  got  so  dreamy  by  this  time  that  he  felt  him- 
self  the  necessity  of  turning  a  little  more  matter-of-fact  again. 

(<You  will  see  what  I  mean,  plainly  enough,"  he  said,  (<if  you 
will  just  think  of  our  architecture,  and  consider  how  that  natur- 
ally will  be—  » 

<(  Yes, "  said  Mr.  Luke,  (<  I  should  be  glad  to  hear  about  our 
architecture." 

(<  —  how  that  naturally  will  be, "  Mr.  Rose  went  on,  (<of  no 
style  in  particular. " 

"The  deuce  it  won't  ! "   exclaimed  Mr.  Luke. 

"No,"  continued  Mr.  Rose  unmoved;  <(no  style  in  particular, 
but  a  renaissance  of  all  styles.  It  will  matter  nothing  to  us 
whether  they  be  pagan  or  Catholic,  classical  or  mediaeval.  We 
shall  be  quite  without  prejudice  or  bigotry.  To  the  eye  of  true 
taste,  an  Aquinas  in  his  cell  before  a  crucifix,  or  a  Narcissus 
gazing  at  himself  in  a  still  fountain,  are  —  in  their  own  ways, 
you  know  —  equally  beautiful." 


WILLIAM  HURRELL  MALLOCK 


9633 


<(  Well,  really, w  said  Miss  Merton,  <(  I  can  not  fancy  St.  Thomas 
being  a  very  taking"  object  to  people  who  don't  believe  in  him 
either  as  a  saint  or  a  philosopher.  I  always  think  that  except 
from  a  Christian  point  of  view,  a  saint  can  be  hardly  better  de- 
scribed than  by  Newman's  lines,  as  — 

<A  bundle  of  bones,  whose  breath 
Infects  the  world  before  his  death. >>># 

c<  I  remember  the  lines  well, w  said  Mr.  Rose  calmly,  <(  and  the 
writer  you  mention  puts  them  in  the  mouth  of  a  yelping  devil. 
But  devils,  as  far  as  I  know,  are  not  generally  —  except  perhaps 
Milton's  —  conspicuous  for  taste;  indeed,  if  we  may  trust  Goethe, 
the  very  touch  of  a  flower  is  torture  to  them." 

(<  Dante's  biggest  devil, )}  cried  Mr.  Saunders,  to  every  one's 
amazement,  ((  chewed  Judas  Iscariot  like  a  quid  of  tobacco,  to  all 
eternity.  He,  at  any  rate,  knew  what  he  liked. }> 

Mr.  Rose  started,  and  visited  Mr.  Saunders  with  a  rapid 
frown.  He  then  proceeded,  turning  again  to  Miss  Merton  as  if 
nothing  had  happened. 

<(  Let  me  rather, })  he  said,  (<  read  a  nice  sonnet  to  you,  which 
I  had  sent  to  me  this  morning,  and  which  was  in  my  mind 
just  now.  These  lines"  (Mr.  Rose  here  produced  a  paper  from 
his  pocket)  <(were  written  by  a  boy  of  eighteen, — a  youth  of 
extraordinary  promise,  I  think, —  whose  education  I  may  myself 
claim  to  have  had  some  share  in  directing.  Listen, }>  he  said, 
laying  the  verses  before  him  on  a  clean  plate. 

<(  Three  visions  in  the  watches  of  one  night 

Made  sweet  my  sleep  —  almost  too  sweet  to  tell. 

One  was  Narcissus  by  a  woodside  well, 
And  on  the  moss  his  limbs  and  feet  were  white; 
And  one,   Queen  Venus,  blown  for  my  delight 

Across  the  blue  sea  in  a  rosy  shell; 

And  one,  a  lean  Aquinas  in  his  cell, 
Kneeling,  his  pen  in  hand,  with  aching  sight 
Strained  towards  a  carven  Christ:   and  of  these  three 

I  knew  not  which  was  fairest.     First  I  turned 
Towards  that  soft  boy,  who  laughed  and  fled  from  me; 
Towards  Venus  then,  and  she  smiled  once,  and  she 

Fled  also.     Then  with  teeming  heart  I  yearned, 
O  Angel  of  the  Schools,  towards  Christ  with  theeP 

•  Vide  J.  H.  Newman's  <  Dream  of  Gerontius.> 


9634 


WILLIAM  HURRELL  MALLOCK 


(<  Yes, "  murmured  Mr.  Rose  to  himself,  folding  up  the  paper, 
<(they  are  dear  lines.  Now  there,"  he  said,  (<we  have  a  true  and 
tender  expression  of  the  really  catholic  spirit  of  modern  aestheti- 
cism,  which  holds  nothing  common  or  unclean.  It  is  in  this 
spirit,  I  say,  that  the  architects  of  our  State  will  set  to  work. 
And  thus  for  our  houses,,  for  our  picture  galleries,  for  our 
churches, —  I  trust  we  shall  have  many  churches, —  they  will 
select  and  combine  — " 

<(Do  you  seriously  mean,"  broke  in  Allen  a  little  impatiently, 
"that  it  is  a  thing  to  wish  for  and  to  look  forward  to,  that  we 
should  abandon  all  attempts  at  original  architecture,  and  content 
ourselves  with  simply  sponging  on  the  past  ? " 

<(  I  do, "  replied  Mr.  Rose  suavely ;  (( and  for  this  reason,  if 
for  no  other, — that  the  world  can  now  successfully  do  nothing 
else.  Nor  indeed  is  it  to  be  expected,  or  even  wished,  that  it 
should. » 

(<  You  say  we  have  no  good  architecture  now ! "  exclaimed 
Lady  Ambrose;  <(but,  Mr.  Rose,  have  you  forgotten  our  modern 
churches  ?  Don't  you  think  them  beautiful  ?  Perhaps  you  never 
go  to  All  Saints'  ? " 

<(I  every  now  and  then,"  said  Mr.  Rose,  <(when  I  am  in  the 
weary  mood  for  it,  attend  the  services  of  our  English  Ritualists, 
and  I  admire  their  churches  very  much  indeed.  In  some  places 
the  whole  thing  is  really  managed  with  surprising  skill.  The 
dim  religious  twilight,  fragrant  with  the  smoke  of  incense;  the 
tangled  roofs  that  the  music  seems  to  cling  to;  the  tapers,  the 
high  altar,  and  the  strange  intonation  of  the  priests, —  all  produce 
a  curious  old-world  effect,  and  seem  to  unite  one  with  things  that 
have  been  long  dead.  Indeed,  it  all  seems  to  me  far  more  a 
part  of  the  past  than  the  services  of  the  Catholics," 

Lady  Ambrose  did  not  express  her  approbation  of  the  last 
part  of  this  sentiment,  out  of  regard  for  Miss  Merton;  but  she 
gave  a  smile  and  a  nod  of  pleased  intelligence  to  Mr.  Rose. 

"Yes,"  Mr.  Rose  went  on,  "there  is  a  regretful  insincerity 
about  it  all,  that  is  very  nice,  and  that  at  once  appeals  to  me, 
'Gleich  einer  alten  halbverklungnen  Sage.'*  The  priests  are 
only  half  in  earnest;  the  congregations  even  — " 

"Then  I  am  quite  sure,"  interrupted  Lady  Ambrose  with 
vigor,  <(that  you  can  never  have  heard  Mr.  Cope  preach." 

*«Like  some  old  half -forgotten  legend. » 


WILLIAM   HURRELL   MALLOCK 


9635 


<(  I  don't  know,"  said  Mr.  Rose  languidly.  c<  I  never  inquired, 
nor  have  I  ever  heard  any  one  so  much  as  mention,  the  names 
of  any  of  them.  Now  all  that,  Lady  Ambrose,  were  life  really 
in  the  state  it  should  be,  you  would  be  able  to  keep.>J 

<(  Do  you  seriously,  and  in  sober  earnest,  mean, w  Allen  again 
broke  in,  <(that  you  think  it  a  good  thing  that  all  our  art  and 
architecture  should  be  borrowed  and  insincere,  and  that  our  very 
religion  should  be  nothing  but  a  dilettante  memory  ? >J 

<(The  opinion, })  said  Mr.  Rose, — "which  by  the  way  you 
slightly  misrepresent, — is  not  mine  only,  but  that  of  all  those 
of  our  own  day  who  are  really  devoting  themselves  to  art  for 
its  own  sake.  I  will  try  to  explain  the  reason  of  this.  In  the 
world's  life,  just  as  in  the  life  of  a  man,  there  are  certain  peri- 
ods of  eager  and  all-absorbing  action,  and  these  are  followed  by 
periods  of  memory  and  reflection.  We  then  look  back  upon 
our  past  and  become  for  the  first  time  conscious  of  what  we 
are,  and  of  what  we  have  done.  We  then  see  the  dignity  of 
toil,  and  the  grand  results  of  it;  the  beauty  and  the  strength 
of  faith,  and  the  fervent  power  of  patriotism:  which  whilst  we 
labored,  and  believed,  and  loved,  we  were  quite  blind  to.  Upon 
such  a  reflective  period  has  the  world  now  entered.  It  has  acted 
and  believed  already:  its  task  now  is  to  learn  to  value  action 
and  belief,  to  feel  and  to  be  thrilled  at  the  beauty  of  them.  And 
the  chief  means  by  which  it  can  learn  this  is  art;  the  art  of  a 
renaissance.  For  by  the  power  of  such  art,  all  that  was  beauti- 
ful, strong,  heroic,  or  tender  in  the  past, —  all  the  actions,  pas- 
sions, faiths,  aspirations  of  the  world,  that  lie  so  many  fathom 
deep  in  the  years, —  float  upward  to  the  tranquil  surface  of  the 
present,  and  make  our  lives  like  what  seems  to  me  one  of  the 
loveliest  things  in  nature,  the  iridescent  film  on  the  face  of  a 
stagnant  water.  Yes;  the  past  is  not  dead  unless  we  choose  that 
it  shall  be  so.  Christianity  itself  is  not  dead.  There  is  ( nothing 
of  it  that  doth  fade,'  but  turns  (into  something  rich  and  strange,* 
for  us  to  give  a  new  tone  to  our  lives  with.  And  believe  me, }> 
Mr.  Rose  went  on,  gathering  earnestness,  <(that  the  happiness 
possible  in  such  conscious  periods  is  the  only  true  happiness. 
Indeed,  the  active  periods  of  the  world  were  not  really  happy  at 
all.  We  only  fancy  them  to.  have  been  so  by  a  pathetic  fallacy. 
Is  the  hero  happy  during  his  heroism  ?  No,  but  after  it,  when 
he  sees  what  his  heroism  was,  and  reads  the  glory  of  it  in  the 
eyes  of  youth  or  maiden.  ® 


9636 


WILLIAM  HURRELL  MALLOCK 


<(A11  this  is  very  poor  stuff  —  very  poor  stuff,  "  murmured  Dr. 
Jenkinson,  whose  face  had  become  gradually  the  very  picture  of 
crossness. 

(<  Do  you  mean,  Mr.  Rose, "  said  Miss  Merton,  with  a  half 
humorous,  half  incredulous  smile,  <(that  we  never  value  religion 
till  we  have  come  to  think  it  nonsense  ? " 

(<  Not  nonsense  —  no, "  exclaimed  Mr.  Rose  in  gentle  horror; 
w  I  only  mean  that  it  never  lights  our  lives  so  beautifully  as 
when  it  is  leaving  them  like  the  evening  sun.  It  is  in  such 
periods  of  the  world's  life  that  art  springs  into  being  in  its 
greatest  splendor.  Your  Raphael,  Miss  Merton,  who  painted  you 
your  (dear  Madonnas,'  was  a  luminous  cloud  in  the  sunset  sky 
of  the  Renaissance, — a  cloud  that  took  its  fire  from  a  faith  that 
was  sunk  or  sinking. " 

(<  I'm  afraid  that  the  faith  is  not  quite  sunk  yet,"  said  Miss 
Merton,  with  a  slight  sudden  flush  in  her  cheeks,  and  with  just 
the  faintest  touch  of  suppressed  anger. 

Mr.  Saunders,  Mr.  Stockton,  Mr.  Storks,  and  Mr.  Luke  all 
raised  their  eyebrows. 

"No,"  said  Mr.  Rose,  "such  cyclic  sunsets  are  happily  apt  to 
linger. » 

<(  Mr.  Rose,"  exclaimed  Lady  Ambrose,  with  her  most  gracious 
of  smiles,  ((  of  course  every  one  who  has  ears  must  know  that  all 
this  is  very  beautiful;  but  I  am  positively  so  stupid  that  I  haven't 
been  quite  able  to  follow  it  all." 

<(  I  will  try  to  make  my  meaning  clearer,"  he  said,  in  a 
brisker  tone.  (<  I  often  figure  to  myself  an  unconscious  period 
and  a  conscious  one, .  as  two  women :  one  an  untamed  creature 
with  embrowned  limbs,  native  to  the  air  and  the  sea;  the  other 
marble-white  and  swan-soft,  couched  delicately  on  cushions  be- 
fore a  mirror,  and  watching  her  own  supple  reflection  gleaming 
in  the  depths  of  it.  On  the  one  is  the  sunshine  and  the  sea 
spray.  The  wind  of  heaven  and  her  •  unbound  hair  are  play- 
mates. The  light  of  the  sky  is  in  her  eyes;  on  her  lips  is  a  free 
laughter.  We  look  at  her,  and  we  know  that  she  is  happy. 
We  know  it,  mark  me;  but  she  knows  it  not.  Turn,  however, 
to  the  other,  and  all  is  changed.  •  Outwardly,  there  is  no  gladness 
there.  Her  dark,  gleaming  eyes  open  depth  within  depth  upon 
us,  like  the  circles  of  a  new  Inferno,  There  is  a  clear,  shadowy 
pallor  on  her  cheek.  Only  her  lips  are  scarlet.  There  is  a  sad- 
ness, a  languor, —  even  in  the  grave  tendrils  of  her  heavy  hair, 


WILLIAM  HURRELL  MALLOCK 


9637 


and  %  in  each  changing  curve  of  her  bosom  as  she  breathes  or 
sighs. J> 

<(<  What  a  very  odd  man  Mr.  Rose  is ! }>  said  Lady  Ambrose  in 
a  loud  whisper.  <(  He  always  seems  to  talk  of  everybody  as  if 
they  had  no  clothes  on.  And  does  he  mean  by  this  that  we 
ought  to  be  always  in  the  dumps  ? >J 

"Yes,"  Mr.  Rose  was  meanwhile  proceeding,  his  voice  again 
growing  visionary,  (<  there  is  no  eagerness,  no  action  there :  and 
yet  all  eagerness,  all  action  is  known  to  her  as  the  writing  on 
an  open  scroll;  only,  as  she  reads,  even  in  the  reading  of  it, 
action  turns  into  emotion  and  eagerness  into  a  sighing  memory. 
Yet  such  a  woman  really  may  stand  symbolically  for  us  as  the 
patroness  and  the  lady  of  all  gladness,  who  makes  us  glad  in 
the  only  way  now  left  us.  And  not  only  in  the  only  way,  but  in 
the  best  way  —  the  way  of  ways.  Her  secret  is  self -consciousness. 
She  knows  that  she  is  fair;  she  knows,  too,  that  she  is  sad:  but 
she  sees  that  sadness  is  lovely,  and  so  sadness  turns  to  joy.  Such 
a  woman  may  be  taken  as  a  symbol,  not  of  our  architecture  only, 
but  of  all  the  aesthetic  surroundings  with  which  we  shall  shelter 
and  express  our  life.  Such  a  woman  do  I  see  whenever  I  enter 
a  ritualistic  church  —  }> 

<(  I  know, "  said  Mrs.  Sinclair,  <(  that  very  peculiar  people  do  go 
to  such  places;  but,  Mr.  Rose,}>  she  said  with  a  look  of  appealing 
inquiry,  <(  I  thought  they  were  generally  rather  overdressed  than 
otherwise  ? w 

"The  im agination,  ®  said  Mr.  Rose,  opening  his  eyes  in  grave 
wonder  at  Mrs.  Sinclair,  (<  may  give  her  what  garb  it  chooses. 
Our  whole  city,  then  —  the  city  of  our  New  Republic  —  will  be  in 
keeping  with  this  spirit.  It  will  be  the  architectural  and  decorat- 
ive embodiment  of  the  most  educated  longings  of  our  own  times 
after  order  and  loveliness  and  delight,  whether  of  the  senses  or 
the  imagination.  It  will  be,  as  it  were,  a  resurrection  of  the 
past,  in  response  to  the  longing  and  the  passionate  regret  of 
the  present.  It  will  be  such  a  resurrection  as  took  place  in  Italy 
during  its  greatest  epoch,  only  with  this  difference  — w 

(<  You  seem  to  have  forgotten  trade  and  business  altogether, w 
said  Dr.  Jenkinson.  (<  I  think,  however  rich  you  intend  to  be, 
you  will  find  that  they  are  necessary. w 

<(Yes,  Mr.  Rose,  you're  not  going  to  deprive  us  of  all  our 
shops,  I  hope  ? »  said  Lady  Ambrose. 


9638 


WILLIAM   HURRELL   MALLOCK 


"Because,  you  know,"  said  Mrs.  Sinclair  with  a  soft  mali- 
ciousness, (<  we  can't  go  without  dresses  altogether,  Mr.  Rose. 
And  if  I  were  there,®  she  continued  plaintively,  <(  I  should  want 
a  bookseller  to  publish  the  scraps  of  verse  —  poetry,  as  I  am 
pleased  to  call  it  —  that  I  am  always  writing. ® 

<(  Pooh ! ®  said  Mr.  Rose,  a  little  annoyed,  (<  we  shall  have  all 
that  somewhere,  of  course;  but  it  will  be  out  of  the  way,  in  a 
sort  of  Piraeus,  where  the  necessary  xdxyhn  — ® 

WA  sort  of  what  ? ®    said  Lady  Ambrose. 

<(  Mr.  Rose  merely  means, ®  said  Donald  Gordon,  <(  that  there 
must  be  good  folding-doors  between  the  offices  and  the  house  of 
life,  and  that  the  servants  are  not  to  be  seen  walking  about  in 
the  pleasure-grounds. ® 

"Yes,*  said  Mr.   Rose,   (<  exactly  so.® 

<(Well,  then,®  said  Lady  Ambrose,  (<  I  quite  agree  with  you, 
Mr.  Rose;  and  if  wishing  were  only  having,  I've  not  the  least 
doubt  that  we  should  all  of  us  be  going  back  to  Mr.  Rose's 
city  to-morrow,  instead  of  to  London,  with  its  carts,  and  cabs, 
and  smoke,  and  all  its  thousand-and-one  drawbacks.  I'm  sure," 
she  said,  turning  to  Miss  Merton,  <(you  would,  my  dear,  with  all 
your  taste.® 

(( It  certainly, ®  said  Miss  Merton  smiling,  (<  all  sounds  very 
beautiful.  All  that  I  am  afraid  of  is,  that  we  should  not  be 
quite  worthy  of  it.® 

(<Nay,®  said  Mr.  Rose,  (<but  the  very  point  is  that  we  shall 
be  worthy  of  it,  and  that  it  will  be  worthy  of  us.  I  said,  if  you 
recollect,  just  now,  that  the  world's  ideal  of  the  future  must 
resemble  in  many  ways  its  memory  of  the  Italian  Renaissance. 
But  don't  let  that  mislead  you.  It  may  resemble  that,  but  it 
will  be  something  far  in  advance  of  it.  During  the  last  three 
hundred  years  —  in  fact,  during  the  last  sixty  or  seventy  years  — 
the  soul  of  man  has  developed  strangely  in  its  sentiments  and  its 
powers  of  feeling;  in  its  powers,  in  fact,  of  enjoying  life.  As  I 
said,  I  have  a  work  in  the  press  devoted  entirely  to  a  description 
of  this  growth.  I  have  some  of  the  proof-sheets  with  me;  and 
if  you  will  let  me,  I  should  like  to  read  you  one  or  two  pas- 
sages. ® 

<(  I  don't  think  much  can  be  made  out  of  that,®  said  Dr.  Jen- 
kinson,  with  a  vindictive  sweetness.  (<  Human  sentiment  dresses 
itself  in  different  fashions,  as  human  ladies  do;  but  I  think 


WILLIAM  HURRELL  MALLOCK 


9639 


beneath  the  surface  it  is  much  the  same.  I  mean,*  he  added, 
suddenly  recollecting"  that  he  might  thois  seem  to  be  rooting  up 
the  wheat  of  his  own  opinions  along  with  the  tares  of  Mr. 
Rose's,  (<  I  mean  that  I  don't  think  in  seventy  years,  or  even  in 
three  hundred,  you  will  be  able  to  show  that  human  nature  has 
very  much  changed.  I  don't  think  so." 

Unfortunately,  however,  the  Doctor  found  that  instead  of  put- 
ting down  Mr.  Rose  by  this,  he  had  only  raised  up  Mr.  Luke. 

<(Ah,  Jenkinson,  I  think  you  are  wrong  there,"  said  Mr.  Luke. 
<(As  long  as  we  recognize  that  this  growth  is  at  present  confined 
to  a  very  small  minority,  the  fact  of  such  growth  is  the  most 
important,  the  most  significant  of  all  facts.  Indeed,  our  friend 
Mr.  Rose  is  quite  right  thus  far,  in  the  stress  he  lays  on  our 
appreciation  of  the  past:  that  we  have  certainly  in  these  modern 
times  acquired  a  new  sense,  by  which  alone  the  past  can  be 
appreciated  truly, —  the  sense  which,  if  I  may  invent  a  phrase 
for  it,  I  should  call  that  of  Historical  Perspective;  so  that  now 
really  for  the  first  time  the  landscape  of  history  is  beginning  to 
have  some  intelligible  charm  for  us.  And  this,  you  know,  is  not 
alL  Our  whole  views  of  things  (you,  Jenkinson,  must  know  this 
as  well  as  I  do) — the  Zeitgeist  breathes  upon  them,  and  they  do 
not  die;  but  they  are  changed,  they  are  enlightened." 

The  Doctor  was  too  much  annoyed  to  make  any  audible 
answer  to  this;  but  he  murmured  with  some  emphasis  to  him- 
self, (<  That's  not  what  Mr.  Rose  was  saying ;  that's  not  what  I 
was  contradicting." 

<(  You  take,  Luke,  a  rather  more  rose-colored  view  of  things 
than  you  did  last  night,"  said  Mr.  Storks. 

"No,"  said  Mr.  Luke  with  a  sigh,  (<far  from  it.  I  am  not 
denying  (pray,  Jenkinson,  remember  this)  that  the  majority  of 
us  are  at  present  either  Barbarians  or  Philistines;  and  the  ugli- 
ness of  these  is  more  glaring  now  than  at  any  former  time.  But 
that  any  of  us  are  able  to  see  them  thus  distinctly  in  their  true 
colors  itself  shows  that  there  must  be  a  deal  of  light  somewhere. 
Even  to  make  darkness  visible  some  light  is  needed.  We  should 
always  recollect  that.  We  are  only  discontented  with  ourselves 
when  we  are  struggling  to  be  better  than  ourselves." 

(< And  in  many  ways, "  said  Laurence,  <(  I  think  the  strug- 
gle has  been  successful.  Take  for  instance  the  pleasure  we  get 
now  from  the  aspects  of  external  nature,  and  the  way  in  which 
these  seem  to  mix  themselves  with  our  lives.  This  certainly  is 


WILLIAM  HURRELL  MALLOCK    ; 

something  distinctly  modern.  And  nearly  all  our  other  feel- 
ings, it  seems  to  me,  have  changed  just  like  this  one,  and  have 
become  more  sensitive  and  more  highly  organized.  If  we  mayv 
judge  by  its  expression  in  literature,  love  has,  certainly;  and  that, 
I  suppose,  is  the  most  important  and  comprehensive  feeling  in 
life.* 

<(  Does  Mr.  Laurence  only  suppose  that  ? "  sighed  Mrs.  Sinclair, 
casting  down  her  eyes. 

"Well,"  said  Dr.  Jenkinson,  <(our  feelings  about  these  two 
things  —  about  love  and  external  nature  —  perhaps  have  changed 
somewhat.  Yes,  I  think  they  have.  I  think  you  might  make  an 
interesting  magazine  article  out  of  that  —  but  hardly  more." 

<(  I  rather,"  said  Laurence  apologetically,  <(  agree  with  Mr. 
Luke  and  Mr.  Rose,  that  all  our  feelings  have  developed  just  as 
these  two  have.  And  I  think  this  is  partly  owing  to  the  fusion 
in  our  minds  of  our  sacred  and  secular  ideas;  which  indeed 
you  were  speaking  of  this  morning  in  your  sermon.  Thus,  to 
find  some  rational  purpose  in  life  was  once  merely  enjoined  as  a 
supernatural  duty.  In  our  times  it  has  taken  our  common  nature 
upon  it,  and  become  a  natural  longing  —  though  I  fear,"  he  added 
softly,  <(a  fruitless  one." 

<(  Yes, "  suddenly  exclaimed  Lady  Grac -i,  who  had  been  listen- 
ing intently  to  her  nephew's  words;  <(and  if  you  are  speaking  of 
modern  progress,  Otho,  you  should  not  leave  out  the  diffusion  of 
those  grand  ideas  of  justice  and  right  and  freedom  and  humanity 
which  are  at  work  in  the  great  heart  of  the  nation.  We  are 
growing  cultivated  in  Mr.  Luke's  noble  sense  of  the  word;  and 
our  whole  hearts  revolt  against  the  way  in  which  women  have 
hitherto  been  treated,  and  against  the  cruelties  which  dogma 
asserts  the  good  God  can  practice,  and  the  cruelties  on  the 
poor  animals  which  wicked  men  do  practice.  And  war  too," 
Lady  Grace  went  on,  a  glow  mounting  into  her  soft  faded 
cheek:  "think  how  fast  we  are  outgrowing  that!  England  at 
any  rate  will  never  watch  the  outbreak  of  another  war,  with  all 
its  inevitable  cruelties,  without  giving  at  least  one  sob  that  shall 
make  all  Europe  pause  and  listen.  Indeed,  we  must  not  forget 
how  the  entire  substance  of  religion  is  ceasing  to  be  a  mass  of 
dogmas,  and  is  becoming  embodied  instead  in  practice  and  in 
action. }> 

<( Quite  true.  Lady  Grace,"  said  Mr.  Luke.  Lady  Grace  was 
just  about  to  have  given  a  sign  for  rising;  but  Mr.  Luke's  assent 


WILLIAM  HURRELL  MALLOCK 


9641 


detained  her.  (<As  to  war,"  he  went  on,  "there  may  of  course 
be  different  opinions, —  questions  of  policy  may  arise :  w  ((< As  if 
any  policy,"  murmured  Lady  Grace,  <(  could  justify  us  in  such  a 
thing !  ")  ((but  religion  —  yes,  that,  as  I  have  been  trying"  to  teach 
the  world,  is  the  great  and  important  point  on  which  culture  is 
beginning  to  cast  its  light;  and  with  just  the  effect  which  you 
describe.  It  is  true  that  culture  is  at  present  but  a  little  leaven 
hid  in  a  barrel  of  meal:  but  still  it  is  doing  its  work  slowly;  and 
in  the  matter  of  religion, —  indeed,  in  all  matters,  for  religion 
rightly  understood  embraces  all, —  "  (<(  I  do  like  to  hear  Mr.  Luke 
talk  sometimes,"  murmured  Lady  Grace,)  (<its  effect  is  just  this: 
to  show  us  that  religion  in  any  civilized,  any  reasonable,  any 
sweet  sense,  can  never  be  found  except  embodied  in  action;  that 
it  is  in  fact  nothing  but  right  action,  pointed  —  winged,  as  it 
were  —  by  right  emotion,  by  a  glow,  an  aspiration,  an  aspiration 
toward  God  — "  (Lady  Grace  sighed  with  feeling)  (<not,  of  course,  " 
Mr.  Luke  went  on  confidentially,  "that  petulant  Pedant  of  the 
theologians,  that  irritable  angry  Father  with  the  very  uncertain 
temper,  but  toward — " 

(<An  infinite,  inscrutable,  loving  Being,"  began  Lady  Grace, 
with  a  slight  moisture  in  her  eyes. 

(< Quite  so,"  said  Mr.  Luke,  not  waiting  to  listen:  <( towards 
that  great  Law,  that  great  verifiable  tendency  of  things,  that 
great  stream  whose  flowing1  such  of  us  as  are  able  are  now  so 
anxiously  trying  to  accelerate.  There  is  no  vain  speculation 
about  creation  and  first  causes  and  consciousness  here;  which  are 
matters  we  can  never  verify,  and  which  matter  nothing  to  us." 

<(  But, "  stammered  Lady  Grace  aghast,  <(  Mr.  Luke,  do  you 
mean  to  say  that  ?  But  it  surely  must  matter  something  whether 
God  can  hear  our  prayers,  and  will  help  us,  and  whether  we  owe 
him  any  duty,  and  whether  he  is  conscious  of  what  we  do,  and 
will  judge  us:  it  must  matter. " 

Mr.  Luke  leaned  forward  towards  Lady  Grace  and  spoke  to 
her  in  a  confidential  whisper. 

(<Not  two  straws — not  that,"  he  said,  with  a  smile,  and  a  very 
slight  fillip  of  his  finger  and  thumb. 

Lady  Grace  was  thunderstruck. 

(<  But, "  again  she  stammered  softly  and  eagerly,  <(  unless  you 
say  there  is  no  personal  — " 

Mr.  Luke  hated  the  word  personal:  it  was  so  much  mixed 
up  in  his  mind  with  theology,  that  he  even  winced  if  he  had  to 
speak  of  personal  talk. 


9642 


WILLIAM  HURRELL  MALLOCK 


<(  My  dear  Lady  Grace, "  he  said  in  a  tone  of  surprised  remon- 
strance, <(you  are  talking  like  a  bishop." 

<(Well,  certainly,"  said  Lady  Grace,  rising,  and  struggling  she 
hardly  knew  how  into  a  smile,  <(  nolo  episcopari.  You  see  I  do 
know  a  little  Latin,  Mr.  Luke." 

"Yes,"  said  Mr.  Luke  with  a  bow,  as  he  pushed  back  a  chair 
for  her,  (<and  a  bit  that  has  more  wisdom  in  it  than  all  other 
ecclesiastical  Latin  put  together." 

((We're  going  to  leave  you  gentlemen  to  smoke  your  cigar- 
ettes, "  said  Lady  Grace.  <(We  think  of  going  down  on  the  beach 
for  a  little,  and  looking  at  the  sea,  which  is  getting  silvery;  and 
by-and-by,  I  daresay  you  will  not  expel  us  if  we  come  back  for 
a  little  tea  and  coffee." 

«Damn  it!" 

Scarcely  had  the  last  trailing  skirt  swept  glimmering  out  of 
the  pavilion  into  the  mellow  slowly  brightening  moonlight,  than 
the  gentlemen  were  astounded  by  this  sudden  and  terrible  excla- 
mation. It  was  soon  found  to  have  issued  from  Mr.  Saunders, 
who  had  hardly  spoken  more  than  a  few  sentences  during  the 
whole  of  dinner. 

<(  What  can  be  the  matter  ? "  was  inquired  by  several  voices. 

(<  My  fool  of  a  servant, "  said  Mr.  Saunders  sullenly,  <(  has,  I 
find,  in  packing,  wrapped  up  a  small  sponge  of  mine  in  my  dis- 
proof of  God's  existence." 

(<H'f,"  shuddered  Mr.  Rose,  shrinking  from  Mr.  Saunders's 
somewhat  piercing  tones,  and  resting  his  forehead  on  his  hand; 
<(my  head  aches  sadly.  I  think  I  will  go  down  to  the  sea,  and 
join  the  ladies." 

<(I,"  said  Mr.  Saunders,  (<if  you  will  excuse  me,  must  go  and 
see  in  what  state  the  document  is,  as  I  left  it  drying,  hung  on 
the  handle  of  my  jug. " 

No  sooner  had  Mr.  Saunders  and  Mr.  Rose  departed  than 
Dr.  Jenkinson  began  to  recover  his  equanimity  somewhat.  Seeing 
this,  Mr.  Storks,  who  had  himself  during  dinner  been  first  soothed 
and  then  ruffled  into  silence,  found  suddenly  the  strings  of  his 
tongue  loosed. 

(<  Now,  those  are  the  sort  of  young  fellows,"  he  said,  look- 
ing after  the  retreating  form  of  Mr.  Saunders,  (<that  really  do  a 
good  deal  to  bring  all  solid  knowledge  into  contempt  in  the  minds 
of  the  half -educated.  There's  a  certain  hall  in  London,  not  far 
from  the  top  of  Regent  Street,  where  I'm  told  he  gives  Sunday 
lectures. " 


WILLIAM   HURRELL   MALLOCK  9643 

"Yes,"  said  Dr.  Jenkinson,  -sipping  his  claret,  "it's  all  very 
bad  taste  —  very  bad  taste.  » 

«And  the  worst  of  it  is,"  said  Mr.  Storks,  "that  these  young 
men  really  get  hold  of  a  fact  or  two,  and  then  push  them  on  to 
their  own  coarse  and  insane  conclusions, — which  have,  I  admit, 
to  the  vulgar  eye,  the  look  of  being  obvious. " 

"Yes/  said  Dr.  Jenkinson  with  a  seraphic  sweetness,  "we 
should  always  suspect  everything  that  seems  very  obvious.  Glar- 
ing inconsistencies  and  glaring  consistencies  are  both  sure  to  van- 
ish if  you  look  closely  into  them." 

"Now,  all  that  about  God,  for  instance,"  Mr.  Storks  went  on, 
(<  is  utterly  uncalled  for ;  and  as  young  Saunders  puts  it,  is  utterly 
misleading." 

<(Yes,"  said  Dr.  Jenkinson,  <(  it  all  depends  upon  the  way  you 
say  it." 

<(  I  hardly  think, "  said  Mr.  Stockton  with  a  sublime  weariness, 
"that  we  need  waste  much  thought  upon  his  way.  It  is  a  very 
common  one, —  that  of  the  puppy  that  barks  at  the  heels  of  the 
master  whose  meat  it  steals." 

"May  I,"  said  Mr.  Herbert  gently,  after  a  moment's  pause, 
"ask  this —  for  I  am  a  little  puzzled  here:  Do  I  understand 
that  Mr.  Saunders's  arguments  may  be  held,  on  the  face  of  the 
thing,  to  disprove  the  existence  of  God  ? " 

Mr.  Storks  and  Mr.  Stockton  both  stared  gravely  on  Mr. 
Herbert,  and  said  nothing.  Dr.  Jenkinson  stared  at  him  too; 
but  the  Doctor's  eye  lit  up  into  a  little  sharp  twinkle  of  benign 
content  and  amusement,  and  he  said:  — 

"  No,  Mr.  Herbert,  I  don't  think  Mr.  Saunders  can  disprove 
that,  nor  any  one  else  either.  For  the  world  has  at  present  no 
adequate  definition  of  God;  and  I  think  we  should  be  able  to 
define  a  thing  before  we  can  satisfactorily  disprove  it.  I  think 
so.  I  have  no  doubt  Mr.  Saunders  can  disprove  the  existence  of 
God  as  he  would  define  him.  All  atheists  can  do  that." 

"Ah,"  murmured  Mr.  Stockton,  "nobly  said!" 

"But  that's  not  the  way,"  the  Doctor  went  on,  "to  set  to 
work, —  this  kind  of  rude  denial.  We  must  be  loyal  to  nature. 
We  must  do  nothing  per  saltum.  We  must  be  patient.  We 
mustn't  leap  at  Utopias,  either  religious  or  irreligious.  Let  us 
be  content  with  the  knowledge  that  all  dogmas  will  expand  in 
proportion  as  we  feel  they  need  expansion;  for  all  mere  forms 
are  transitory,  and  even  the  personality  of — " 


9644 


WILLIAM  HURRELL  MALLOCK 


Fatal  word!     It  was  like  a  match  to  a  cannon. 

<(Ah,  Jenkinson,"  exclaimed  Mr.  Luke,  and  Dr.  Jenkinson 
stopped  instantly,  <(  we  see  what  you  mean ;  and  capital  sense  it 
is  too.  But  you  do  yourself  as  much  as  any  one  else  a  great 
injustice,  in  not  seeing  that  the  age  is  composed  of  two  parts, 
and  that  the  cultured  minority  is  infinitely  in  advance  of  the  Phi- 
listine majority  —  which  alone  is,  properly  speaking,  the  present; 
the  minority  being  really  the  soul  of  the  future  waiting  for  its 
body,  which  at  present  can  exist  only  as  a  Utopia.  It  is  the 
wants  of  this  soul  that  we  have  been  talking  over  this  afternoon. 
When  the  ladies  come  back  to  us,  there  are  several  things  that 
I  should  like  to  say;  and  then  you  will  see  what  we  mean,  Jen- 
kinson, and  that  even  poor  Rose  has  really  some  right  on  his 
side. )} 

At  the  mention  of  Mr.  Rose's  name  the  Doctor's  face  again 
curdled  into  frost. 

<(  I  don't  think  so."     That  was  all  he  said. 


9^45 


SIR  THOMAS  MALORY 

AND   THE    <MORTE   D' ARTHUR' 

(FIFTEENTH  CENTURY) 
BY  ERNEST   RHYS 

IHE  one  certain  thing  about  Sir  Thomas  Malory  is,  that  he 
wrote  the  first  and  finest  romance  of  chivalry  in  our  com- 
mon tongue,  —  the  (Morte  d' Arthur.'  Beyond  this,  and  the 
testimony  that  the  book  affords  as  to  its  author,  we  have  little 
record  of  him.  That  he  was  a  Welshman,  however,  seems  highly 
probable;  and  his  name  is  certainly  of  Welsh  origin,  derived  as  it  is 
from  Maelor.  That  he  was  a  clerk  in  holy  orders  is  likely  too.  It 
was  usual  to  distinguish  vicars  at  that  period  and  later  by  the  prefix 
(<  Sir }) ;  and  various  clergymen  of  the  same  Christian  name  and  sur- 
name as  his  may  be  traced  by  old  tombs,  at  Mobberley  in  Cheshire 
and  elsewhere.  Bale,  in  his  interesting  Latin  chronicle  of  1548,  on 
( Illustrious  Writers  of  Great  Britain,*  speaks  of  his  <cmany  cares  of 
State, })  it  is  true;  but  church  and  State  were  then  closely  enough  al- 
lied to  make  the  two  things  compatible  with  our  view  of  him.  Bale's 
further  account  is  brief  but  eloquent.  Our  romancer  was  a  man,  he 
tells  us,  <(of  heroic  spirit,  who  shone  from  his  youth  in  signal  gifts  of 
mind  and  body.**  Moreover,  a  true  scholar,  a  true  man  of  letters,  who 
never  interrupted  his  quest  <(  through  all  the  remnants  of  the  world's 
scattered  antiquity. })  So  it  was  that  Malory  was  led  to  gather,  from 
various  sources,  all  the  traditions  he  could  find  <(  concerning  the  valor 
and  the  victories  of  the  most  renowned  King  Arthur  of  the  Britons. w 
Out  of  many  materials,  in  French  and  Latin,  in  Welsh  and  Breton,  he 
shaped  the  book  <Morte  d' Arthur >  as  we  now  know  it;  working 
with  a  sense  of  style,  and  with  a  feeling  for  the  tale-teller's  and  the 
romancer's  art,  which  show  him  to  be  much  more  than  the  mere 
compiler  and  book-maker  that  some  critics  have  been  content  to  call 
him. 

A  word  now  as  to  the  dates  of  Malory's  writing,  and  Caxton's 
publishing,  the  <  Morte  d' Arthur, }  and  we  turn  from  the  history  of  the 
book  to  the  book  itself.  In  his  last  page, —  after  asking  his  readers 
to  pray  for  him, —  Malory  says  in  characteristic  words,  which  again 
may  be  thought  to  point  to  his  being  more  than  a  mere  layman: 
<(  This  book  was  finished  the  ninth  year  of  the  reign  of  King  Edward 


9646 


SIR  THOMAS  MALORY 


the  Fourth,  ...  as  Jesu  help  me,  for  his  great  might;  as  he 
[/.  e.,  Malory]  is  the  servant  of  Jesu  both  day  and  night. »  The  period 
thus  fixed  brings  us  approximately  to  the  year  1469,  and  to  the  ten 
years  previous  as  the  probable  time  when  the  ( Morte  d'Arthur J  was 
being  written.  Caxton  published  it  in  1485,  and  then  referred  to 
Malory  as  still  living.  Hence  he  and  his  noble  romance  both  fall 
well  within  that  wonderful  fifteenth  century  which  saw  the  rise  of 
English  poetry,  with  Chaucer  as  its  morning  star,— 

« —  the  morning  star  of  song,  who  made 
His  music  heard  below, — )J 

and  the  revival  of  Greek  learning.  It  is  significant  enough,  seeing 
their  close  kinship,  that  romance  with  Malory,  and  poetry  with  Chau- 
cer, should  have  come  into  English  literature  in  the  same  period. 

As  for  Malory  and  his  romance,  there  is  hardly  a  more  difficult 
and  a  more  delightful  undertaking  in  all  the  history  of  literature 
than  that  of  the  quest  of  its  first  beginnings.  Principal  Rhys  has 
in  his  erudite  studies  in  the  Arthurian  Legend  carried  us  far  back 
into  the  early  Celtic  twilight, — the  twilight  of  the  morning  of  man 
and  his  spiritual  awakening, —  and  shown  us  some  of  the  curious  par- 
allels between  certain  Aryan  myths  and  the  heroic  folk-tales  which 
lent  their  color  to  the  "culture-hero,"  Arthur. 

To  examine  these  with  the  critical  attention  they  require  is  be- 
yond the  scope  of  the  present  brief  essay;  but  we  may  gather  from 
their  threads  a  very  interesting  clue  to  the  <(  coming  of  Ring  Arthur, w 
in  another  sense  than  that  of  the  episode  so  finely  described  by  Ten- 
nyson. We  see  the  mythical  hero  carried  in  vague  folk-tales  of  the 
primitive  Celts,  in  their  journey  westward  across  Europe,  when  the 
traditions  were  attached  to  some  other  name.  Then  we  find  these 
folk-tales  given  a  local  habitation  and  a  name  in  early  Britain;  until 
at  last  the  appearance  of  a  worthy  historical  hero,  a  King  Arthur  of 
the  sixth  century,  provided  a  pivot  on  which  the  wheel  of  tradition 
could  turn  with  new  effect.  The  pivot  itself  might  be  small  and  in- 
significant enough,  but  the  rim  of  the  wheel  might  have  layer  after 
layer  of  legend,  and  accretion  after  accretion  of  mythical  matter, 
added  to  it,  till  at  last  the  pivot  might  well  threaten  to  give  way 
under  the  strain.  Not  to  work  the  metaphor  too  hard,  the  wheel 
may  be  said  to  go  to  pieces  at  last,  when  the  turn  of  the  romancers, 
as  distinct  from  the  folk-tale  tellers,  comes.  The  Welsh  romancers 
had  their  turn  first;  then  their  originals  were  turned  into  Latin 
by  quasi-historians  like  Geoffrey  of  Monmouth;  carried  into  France, 
given  all  manner  of  new  chivalric  additions  and  adornments,  out  of 
the  growing  European  stock,  by  writers  like  Robert  de  Borron;  and 
finally,  at  the  right  moment,  recaptured  by  our  later  Welsh  romancer, 


SIR  THOMAS  MALORY  9647 

Malory,  working  in  the  interest  of  a  new  language  and  a  new  litera- 
ture, destined  to  play  so  extraordinary  a  part  in  both  the  New  World 
and  the  Old. 

The  art  of  fiction  and  romance  displayed  by  Malory  in  making 
this  transfer  of  his  French  materials,  is  best  to  be  gauged  by  com- 
paring his  (Morte  d'Arthur)  with  such  romances  as  those  in  the 
famous  Merlin  cycle  of  De  Borron  and  his  school.  To  all  students  of 
the  subject,  this  comparative  investigation  will  be  found  full  of  the 
most  curiously  interesting  results.  Besides  Malory,  we  have  English 
fourteenth-century  versions  of  these  French  romances ;  notably  ( The 
Romance  of 'Merlin,*  of  which  we  owe  to  the  Early  English  Text 
Society  an  excellent  reprint.  To  give  some  idea  of  the  effect  of  this 
translation,  let  us  cite  a  sentence  or  two  from  its  account  of  Merlin's 
imprisonment  in  the  Forest  of  Broceliande;  which  may  be  compared 
with  the  briefer  account  in  the  (Morte  d' Arthur.*  Sir  Gawain  hears 
the  voice  of  Merlin,  speaking  as  it  were  <(from  a  smoke  or  mist  in 
the  air,"  and  saying:  — 

((From  hence  may  I  not  come  out, —  for  in  all  the  world  is  not  so  strong  a 
close  as  is  this  whereas  I  am:  and  it  is  neither  of  iron,  nor  steel,  nor  timber, 
nor  of  stone;  but  it  is  of  the  air  without  any  other  thing,  [bound]  by  enchant- 
ment so  strong  that  it  may  never  be  undone  while  the  world  endureth." 

This  is  not  unlike  Malory;  but  a  little  further  study  of  the  two 
side  by  side  will  show  the  reader  curious  in  such  things  how  much 
he  has  improved  upon  these  earlier  legendary  romances,  by  his  pro- 
cess of  selection  and  concentration,  and  by  his  choice  of  persons  and 
episodes.  On  the  other  hand,  we  must  concede  to  his  critics  that 
some  of  his  most  striking  passages,  full  of  gallant  adventure  gallantly 
described,  are  borrowed  very  closely.  But  then  the  great  poets  and 
romancers  have  so  often  been  great  borrowers.  Shakespeare  borrowed 
boldly  and  well;  so  did  Herrick;  so  did  Pope;  so  did  Burns.  And 
why  not  Malory  ? 

It  is  sufficient  if  we  remember  that  romance,  like  other  branches 
of  literature,  is  not  a  sudden  and  original  growth,  but  a  graft  from 
an  old  famous  stock.  To  set  this  graft  skillfully  in  a  new  tree  needed 
no  'prentice  hand;  in  doing  it,  Malory  proved  himself  beyond  question 
a  master  of  romance.  His  true  praise  is  best  to  be  summed  up  in 
the  long-continuing  tribute  paid  to  the  ( Morte  d'Arthur )  by  other 
poets  and  writers,  artists  and  musicians.  Milton,  let  us  remember 
hesitated  whether  he  should  not  choose  its  subject  for  his  magnum 
opus,  in  the  place  of  ( Paradise  Lost.*  Tennyson  elected  to  give  it 
an  idyllic  presentment  in  the  purple  pages  of  his  ( Idylls  of  the  King.* 
Still  later  poets  — Matthew  Arnold,  William  Morris,  and  Swinburne  — 
have  gone  to  the  same  fountain-head;  and  in  painting,  the  pictures 


9648  SIR  THOMAS  MALORY 

of  Rossetti,  Watts,  and  Sir  Edward  Burne-Jones  bear  a  like  tribute; 
while  in  music,  there  is  more  than  a  reflection  of  the  same  influence 
in  the  works  of  Wagner. 

In  all  this,  one  may  trace  the  vitality  of  the  early  Aryan  folk-tale 
out  of  which  the  Arthurian  legend  originally  took  its  rise.  Sun- 
hero  or  "culture-hero,"  Celtic  chieftain  or  British  king,  it  is  still  the 
radiant  figure  of  King  Arthur  that  emerges  from  the  gray  past,  in 
which  myth  is  dimly  merged  into  mediaeval  romance.  In  Malory's 
pages,  to  repeat,  the  historical  King  Arthur  goes  for  little ;  but  (<  the 
ideal  Arthur  lives  and  reigns  securely  in  that  kingdom  of  old  romance 
of  which  Camelot  is  the  capital, }) — his  beautiful  and  fatal  Guinevere 
at  his  side,  and  Sir  Galahad,  Sir  Launcelot,  and  his  Knights  of  the 
Round  .Table  gathered  about  him.  And  if  there  be,  as  Tennyson 
made  clear  in  his  *  Idylls, y  a  moral  to  this  noble  old  romance,  we» 
may  best  seek  it  in  the  spirit  of  these  words  in  Caxton's  prologue, 
which  make  the  best  and  simplest  induction  to  the  book:  — 

«  Herein  may  be  seen  noble  chivalry,  courtesy,  humanity,  friendliness, 
hardiness,  love,  friendship,  cowardice,  murder,  hate,  virtue,  and  sin.  Do 
after  the  good  and  leave  the  evil,  and  it  shall  bring  you  to  good  fame  and 
renown.  And  for  to  pass  the  time  this  book  shall  be  pleasant  to  read  in;  but 
for  to  give  faith  and  belief  that  all  is  true  that  is  contained  herein,  ye  be  at 
your  liberty.* 


THE  FINDING  OF  THE  SWORD   EXCALIBUR 

From  <Morte  d' Arthur  > 

AND  so  Merlin  and  he  departed,  and  as  they  rode  King  Arthur 
said,  <(I  have  no  sword. »    (<  No  matter, »  said  Merlin;  « here- 
by is  a  sword  that   shall  be  yours  and  I  may."     So  they 
rode  till  they   came   to   a   lake,   which   was    a   fair   water  and  a 
broad;    and  in  the  midst  of  the  lake  King-  Arthur  was  aware  of 
an  arm  clothed  in  white   samite,  that  held   a   fair   sword  in   the 
hand.     "Lo,"  said  Merlin  unto  the  King,  <(  yonder  is  the   sword 
that  I  spake  of." 

With  that  they  saw    a   damsel   going   upon    the  lake.     <(What 
damsel  is  that  ?})  said  the  King.     «  That  is  the  Lady  of  the  Lake,» 


SIR  THOMAS  MALORY 


9649 


said  Merlin;  (<  and  within  that  lake  is  a  reach,  and  therein  is  as 
fair  a  place  as  any  is  on  earth,  and  richly  beseen;  and  this  dam- 
sel will  come  to  you  anon,  and  then  speak  fair  to  her  that  she 
will  give  you  that  sword."  Therewith  came  the  damsel  to  King 
Arthur  and  saluted  him,  and  he  her  again.  (<  Damsel, "  said  the 
King,  <(what  sword  is  that  which  the  arm  holdeth  yonder  above 
the  water?  I  would  it  were  mine,  for  I  have  no  sword."  «  Sir 
King, "  said  the  damsel  of  the  lake,  <(  that  sword  is  mine,  and  if 
ye  will  give  me  a  gift  when  I  ask  it  you,  ye  shall  have  it."  <(  By 
my  faith, "  said  King  Arthur,  (<  I  will  give  you  any  gift  that  you 
will  ask  or  desire."  (<  Well,"  said  the  damsel,  <(  go  ye  into  yon- 
der barge,  and  row  yourself  unto  the  sword,  and  take  it  and  the 
scabbard  with  you;  and  I  will  ask  my  gift  when  I  see  my  time.*' 

So  King  Arthur  and  Merlin  alighted,  tied  their  horses  to  two 
trees,  and  so  they  went  into  the  barge.  And  when  they  came 
to  the  sword  that  the  hand  held,  King  Arthur  took  it  up  by 
the  handles,  and  took  it  with  him;  and  the  arm  and  the  hand 
went  under  the  water,  and  so  came  to  the  land  and  rode  forth. 

Then  King  Arthur  saw  a  rich  pavilion.  (<  What  signifieth 
yonder  pavilion  ? "  <(  That  is  the  knight's  pavilion  that  ye  fought 
with  last  —  Sir  Pellinore;  but  he  is  out;  for  he  is  not  there: 
he  hath  had  to  do  with  a  knight  of  yours,  that  hight  Eglame, 
and  they  have  foughten  together  a  great  while,  but  at  the  last 
Eglame  fled,  and  else  he  had  been  dead;  and  Sir  Pellinore  hath 
chased  him  to  Carlion,  and  we  shall  anon  meet  with  him  in  the 
highway."  (<  It  is  well  said,"  quoth  King  Arthur;  <(now  have  I 
a  sword,  and  now  will  I  wage  battle  with  him  and  be  avenged 
on  him."  (<  Sir,  ye  shall  not  do  so,"  said  Merlin:  (<  for  the  knight 
is  weary  of  fighting  and  chasing;  so  that  ye  shall  have  no  wor- 
ship to  have  a  do  with  him.  Also  he  will  not  lightly  be  matched 
of  one  knight  living:  and  therefore  my  counsel  is,  that  ye  let 
him  pass;  for  he  shall  do  you  good  service  in  short  time,  and  his 
sons  after  his  days.  Also  ye  shall  see  that  day  in  short  space, 
that  ye  shall  be  right  glad  to  give  him  your  sister  to  wife." 
« When  I  see  him, "  said  King  Arthur,  «  I  will  do  as  ye  advise 
me." 

Then  King  Arthur  looked  upon  the  sword  and  liked  it  passing 
well.  (<  Whether  liketh  you  better,"  said  Merlin,  « the  sword  or 
the  scabbard?"  (<  Me  liketh  better  the  sword,"  said  King  Arthur. 
(<  Ye  are  more  unwise,"  said  Merlin;  (<for  the  scabbard  is  worth 
ten  of  the  sword:  for  while  ye  have  the  scabbard  upon  you,  ye 


9650 


SIR  THOMAS   MALORY 


shall  lose  no  blood,  be  ye  never  so  sore  wounded, —  therefore 
keep  well  the  scabbard  alway  with  you."  So  they  rode  on  to 
Carlion. 


THE  WHITE   HART  AT   THE  WEDDING    OF    KING  ARTHUR  AND 

QUEEN   GUENEVER 

From  <Morte  d' Arthur  >    9 

THEN  was  the  high  feast  made  ready,  and  the  King-  was  wed- 
ded at  Camelot  unto  Dame  Guenever,  in  the  Church  of  St. 
Stevens,  with  great  solemnity;  and  as  every  man  was  set 
after  his  degree,  Merlin  went  unto  all  the  Knights  of  the  Round 
Table,  and  bid  them  sit  still,  and  that  none  should  remove,  <(for 
ye  shall  see  a  marvelous  adventure."  Right  so  as  they  sat,  there 
came  running  in  a  white  hart  into  the  hall,  and  a  white  brachet 
next  him,  and  thirty  couple  of  black  running  hounds  came  after 
with  a  great  cry,  and  the  hart  went  about  the  Table  Round.  As 
he  went  by  the  other  tables,  the  white  brachet  caught  him  by 
the  flank,  and  pulled  out  a  piece,  wherethrough  the  hart  leapt  a 
great  leap,  and  overthrew  a  knight  that  sat  at  the  table's  side; 
and  therewith  the  knight  arose  and  took  up  the  brachet,  and  so 
went  forth  out  of  the  hall,  and  took  his  horse  and  rode  his  way 
with  the  brachet. 

Right  soon  anon  came  in  a  lady  on  a  white  palfrey,  and  cried 
aloud  to  King  Arthur,  <(  Sir,  suffer  me  not  to  have  this  despite, 
for  the  brachet  was  mine  that  the  knight  led  away. "  (<  I  may 
not  do  therewith,"  said  the  King.  With  this  there  came  a  knight 
riding  all  armed  on  a  great  horse,  and  took  the  lady  with  him 
by  force;  and  she  cried  and  made  great  moan.  When  she  was 
gone  the  King  was  glad,  because  she  made  such  a  noise.  "Nay," 
said  Merlin,  <(  ye  may  not  leave  these  adventures  so  lightly,  for 
these  adventures  must  be  brought  again,  or  else  it  would  be 
disworship  to  you,  and  to  your  feast."  (<  I  will,"  said  the  King, 
"that  all  be  done  by  your  advice."  "Then,"  said  Merlin,  «let 
call  Sir  Gawaine,  for  he  must  bring  again  the  white  hart;  also, 
sir,  ye  must  let  call  Sir  Tor,  for  he  must  bring  again  the  brachet 
and  the  knight,  or  else  slay  him;  also,  let  call  King  Pellinore,  for 
he  must  bring  again  the  lady  and  the  knight,  ©r  else  slay  him: 
and  these  three  knights  shall  do  marvelous  adventures  or  they 
come  again." 


SIR  THOMAS  MALORY  965 T 

THE  MAID   OF  ASTOLAT 

From  <Morte  d'Arthur> 

Now  speak  we  of  the  fair  maid  of  Astolat,  which  made  such 
sorrow  day  and  night,  that  she  never  slept,  eat,  nor  drank; 
and  always  she  made  her  complaint  unto  Sir  Launcelot. 
So  when  she  had  thus  endured  about  ten  days,  that  she  felt 
that  she  must  needs  pass  out  of  this  world.  Then  she  shrove 
her  clean  and  received  her  Creator;  and  ever  she  complained  still 
upon  Sir  Launcelot.  Then  hej  ghostly  father  bade  her  leave  such 
thoughts.  Then  said  she,  <(  Why  should  I  leave  such  thoughts  ? 
am  I  not  an  earthly  woman  ?  and  all  the  while  the  breath  is  in 
my  body  I  may  complain.  For  my  belief  is  that  I  do  none 
offense,  though  I  love  an  earthly  man;  and  I  take  God  unto 
record,  I  never  loved  any  but  Sir  Launcelot  du  Lake,  nor  never 
shall;  and  a  maiden  I  am,  for  him  and  for  all  other.  And  sith 
it  is  the  sufferance  of  God  that  I  shall  die  for  the  love  of  so 
noble  a  knight,  I  beseech  the  high  Father  of  heaven  for  to  have 
mercy  upon  my  soul;  and  that  mine  innumerable  pains  which 
I  suffer  may  be  allegiance  of  part  of  my  sins.  For  our  sweet 
Savior  Jesu  Christ, }>  said  the  maiden,  (( I  take  thee  to  record,  I 
was  never  greater  offender  against  thy  laws,  but  that  I  loved  this 
noble  knight,  Sir  Launcelot,  out  of  all  measure;  and  of  myself, 
good  Lord!  I  might  not  withstand  the  fervent  love,  wherefore  I 
have  my  death. })  And  then  she  called  her  father,  Sir  Bernard, 
and  her  brother,  Sir  Tirre;  and  heartily  she  prayed  her  father 
that  her  brother  might  write  a  letter  like  as  she  would  indite  it 
And  so  her  father  granted  it  her. 

And  when*  the  letter  was  written,  word  by  word,  as  she  had 
devised,  then  she  prayed  her  father  that  she  might  be  watched 
until  she  were  dead.  <(And  while  my  body  is  whole  let  this 
letter  be  put  into  my  right  hand,  and  my  hand  bound  fast  with 
the  letter  until  that  I  be  cold;  and  let  me  be  put  in  a  fair  bed, 
with  all  the  richest  clothes  that  I  have  about  me.  And  so  let 
my  bed,  with  all'  my  rich  clothes,  be  laid  with  me  in  a  chariot 
to  the  next  place  whereas  the  Thames  is;  and  there  let  me  be 
put  in  a  barge,  and  but  one  man  with  me,  such  as  ye  trust,  to 
steer  me  thither,  and  that  my  barge  be  covered  with  black  sam- 
ite over  and  over.  Thus,  father,  I  beseech  you  let  be  done."  So 
her  father  granted  her  faithfully  that  all  this  thing  should  be 
done  like  as  she  had  devised.  Then  her  father  and  her  brothel 


9652  SIR  THOMAS  MALORY 

made  great  dole;  for  when  this  was  done,  anon  she  died.  And  so 
when  she  was  dead,  the  corpse,  and  the  bed,  and  all,  were  led 
the  next  way  unto  the  Thames;  and  there  a  man,  and  the  corpse 
and  all,  were  put  in  a  barge  on  the  Thames;  and  so  the  man 
steered  the  barge  to  Westminster,  and  there  he  rode  a  great 
while  to  and  fro  or  any  man  discovered  it. 

So,  by  fortune,  King  Arthur  and  Queen  Guenever  were  speak- 
ing together  at  a  window;  and  so  as  they  looked  into  the  Thames, 
they  espied  the  black  barge,  and  had  marvel  what  it  might  mean. 
Then  the  King  called  Sir  Kaye  and  showed  him  it.  "Sir,"  said 
Sir  Kaye,  <(wit  ye  well  that  there  is  some  new  tidings."  «Go 
ye  thither,"  said  the  King  unto  Sir  Kaye,  <(and  take  with  you 
Sir  Brandiles  and  Sir  Agravaine,  and  bring  me  ready  word  what 
is  there."  Then  these  three  knights  departed  and  came  to  the 
barge  and  went  in ;  and  there  they  found  the  fairest  corpse,  lying 
in  a  rich  bed,  that  ever  they  saw,  and  a  poor  man  sitting  in  the 
end  of  the  barge,  and  no  word  would  he  speak.  So  these  three 
knights  returned  unto  the  King  again,  and  told  him  what  they 
had  found.  (<  That  fair  corpse  will  I  see,"  said  King  Arthur. 
And  then  the  King  took  the  Queen  by  the  hand  and  went  thither. 
Then  the  King  made  the  barge  to  be  holden  fast;  and  then  the 
King  and  the  Queen  went  in  with  certain  knights  with  them ;  and 
there  they  saw  a  fair  gentlewoman,  lying  in  a  rich  bed,  covered 
unto  her  middle  with  many  rich  clothes,  and  all  was  cloth  of 
gold:  and  she  lay  as  though  she  had  smiled.  Then  the  Queen 
espied  the  letter  in  the  right  hand,  and  told  the  King  thereof. 
Then  the  King  took  it  in  his  hand  and  said,  <(Now  I  am  sure 
this  letter  will  tell  what  she  was  and  why  she  is  come  hither." 
Then  the  King  and  the  Queen  went  out  of  the  barge;  and  the 
King  commanded  certain  men  to  wait  v*~  on  the  barge.  And  so 
when  the  King  was  come  within  his  chamber,  he  called  many 
knights  about  him  and  said  (<  that  he  would  wit  openly  what  was 
written  within  that  letter."  Then  the  King  broke  it  open  and 
made  a  clerk  to  read  it.  And  this  was  the  intent  of  the  letter:  — 

<(  Most  noble  knight,  my  lord,  Sir  Launcelot  du  Lake,  now 
hath  death  made  us  two  at  debate  for  your  love.  I  was  your 
love,  that  men  called  the  Fair  Maiden  of  Astolat;  therefore  unco 
all  ladies  I  make  my  moan.  Yet  for  my  soul  that  ye  pray,  and 
bury  me  at  the  least,  and  offer  me  my  mass  penny.  This  is  my 
last  request;  and  a  clean  maid  I  died,  I  take  God  to  my  witness. 
Pray  for  my  soul,  Sir  Launcelot,  as  thou  art  a  knight  peerless.* 


SIR  THOMAS  MALORY  9653 

This  was  all  the  substance  of  the  letter.  And  when  it  was 
read,  the  Queen  and  all  the  knights  wept  for  pity  of  the  doleful 
complaints.  Then  was  Sir  Launcelot  sent  for;  and  when  he 
was  come  King  Arthur  made  the  letter  to  be  read  to  him.  And 
when  Sir  Launcelot  had  heard  it,  word  by  word,  he  said,  <(  My 
lord,  King  Arthur,  wit  you  well  that  I  am  right  heavy  of  the 
death  of  this  fair  damsel.  God  knoweth  I  was  never  causer  of 
her  death  by  my  will;  and  that  I  will  report  me  unto  her  own 
brother  here, —  he  is  Sir  Lavaine.  I  will  not  say  nay/  said  Sir 
Launcelot,  <(but  that  she  was  both  fair  and  good;  and  much  was 
I  beholden  unto  her :  but  she  loved  me  out  of  measure. }>  <(  Yp 
might  have  showed  her/  said  the  Queen,  <(  some  bounty  and  gen- 
tleness, that  ye  might  have  preserved  her  life."  <(  Madam, }>  said 
Sir  Launcelot,  (<  she  would  none  other  way  be  answered,  but  that 
she  would  be  my  wife,  or  else  my  love;  and  of  these  two  I  would 
not  grant  her:  but  I  proffered  her  for  her  good  love,  which  she 
showed  me,  a  thousand  pounds  yearly  to  her  and  her  heirs,  and 
to  wed  any  manner  of  knight  that  she  could  find  best  to  love  in 
her  heart.  For  madam,"  said  Sir  Launcelot,  (<  I  love  not  to  be 
constrained  to  love;  for  love  must  arise  of  the  heart,  and  not  by 
constraint. w  <(  That  is  truth, }>  said  King  Arthur  and  many  knights : 
<(love  is  free  in  himself,  and  never  will  be  bound;  for  where  he 
is  bound  he  loseth  himself. >} 


THE  DEATH   OF  SIR   LAUNCELOT.* 
From  (Morte  d' Arthur.  > 

THEN  Sir  Launcelot,  ever  after,  eat  but  little  meat,  nor  drank, 
but   continually  mourned   until   he   was   dead;    and  then   he 
sickened   more    and    more,  and    dried    and    dwindled    away. 
For  the   bishop,  nor   none    of   his   fellows,  might   not   make   him 
to    eat,    and   little    he    drank,    that   he    was    soon    waxed    shorter 
by  a   cubit   than   he   was,  that   the   people    could   not   know  him. 
For  evermore  day  and  night  he  prayed,  but  "needfully,  as  nature 
required;    sometimes   he   slumbered   a   broken   sleep,    and   always 
he  was  lying  groveling  upon    King   Arthur's  and  Queen   Guene- 
ver's   tomb:    and  there  was  no  comfort   that  the  bishop,  nor  Sir 

*The  second  paragraph  of  this  eloquent  passage  is  not  to  be  found  in  the 
first  edition  'of  the  <Morte  d' Arthur.  >  and  is  probably  by  some  other  writer 
than  Malory-  This,  however,  does  not  affect  its  eloquence. 


9654 


SIR  THOMAS  MALORY 


Bors,   nor   none    of    all   his    fellows   could  make  him;   it   availed 
nothing. 

O  ye  mighty  and  pompous  lords,  shining  in  the  glory  transi- 
tory of  this  unstable  life,  as  in  reigning  over  great  realms  and 
mighty  great  countries,  fortified  with  strong  castles  and  towers, 
edified  with  many  a  rich  city;  yea  also,  ye  fierce  and  mighty 
knights,  so  valiant  in  adventurous  deeds  of  arms, — behold!  be- 
hold! see  how  this  mighty  conqueror,  King  Arthur,  whom  in 
his  human  life  all  the  world  doubted;  see  also,  the  noble  Queen 
Guenever,  which  sometime  sat  in  her  chair,  adorned  with  gold, 
pearls,  and  precious  stones,  now  lie  full  low  in  obscure  foss,  or 
pit,  covered  with  clods  of  earth  and  clay.  Behold  also  this 
mighty  champion,  Sir  Launcelot,  peerless  of  all  knighthood;  see 
now  how  he  lieth  groveling  upon  the  cold  mold;  now  being 
so  feeble  and  faint,  that  sometime  was  so  terrible.  How,  and  in 
what  manner,  ought  ye  to  be  so  desirous  of  worldly  honor,  so 
dangerous.  Therefore,  methinketh  this  present  book  is  right 
necessary  often  to  be  read;  for  in  it  shall  ye  find  the  most  gra- 
cious, knightly,  and  virtuous  war  of  the  most  noble  knights  of 
the  world,  whereby  they  gat  a  praising  continually.  Also  me 
seemeth,  by  the  oft  reading  thereof,  ye  shall  greatly  desire  to 
accustom  yourself  in  following  of  those  gracious  knightly  deeds; 
that  is  to  say,  to  dread  God  and  to  love  righteousness, — faith- 
fully and  courageously  to  serve  your  sovereign  prince;  and  the 
more  that  God  hath  given  you  triumphal  honor,  the  meeker 
ought  ye  to  be,  ever  fearing  the  unstableness  of  this  deceitful 
world. 


9655 


SIR  JOHN   MANDEVILLE 

(FOURTEENTH  CENTURY) 

!HE  most  entertaining  book  in  early  English  prose  is  the  one 
entitled  ( The  Marvelous  Adventures  of  Sir  John  Maundevile 
[or  Mandeville],  Knight:  being  his  Voyage  and  Travel  which 
treateth  of  the  way  to  Jerusalem  and  of  the  Marvels  of  Ind  with 
other  Islands  and  Countries.'  Who  this  knight  was,  and  how  many 
of  the  wondrous  countries  and  sights  he  described  he  actually  saw, 
are  matters  of  grave  discussion.  Some  scholars  have  denied  his  very 
existence,  affirming  the  book  to  be  merely  a  compilation  from  other 
books  of  travel,  well  known  at  the  time,  and  made  by  a  French  physi- 
cian, Jehan  de  Bourgogne,  who  hid  his  identity  under  the  pseudonym 
of  the  English  knight  of  St.  Albans.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  the  asser- 
tion of  Sir  John  in  a  Latin  copy  notwithstanding,  research  has  proved 
beyond  doubt  that  the  book  was  first  written  in  French,  and  then 
translated  into  English,  Latin,  Italian,  German,  Flemish,  and  even 
into  Irish.  It  has  been  further  shown  that  the  author  drew  largely 
on  the  works  of  his  contemporaries.  The  chapters  on  Asiatic  history 
and  geography  are  from  a  book  dictated  in  French  at  Poitiers  in 
1307,  by  the  Armenian  monk  Hayton;  the  description  of  the  Tartars 
is  from  the  work  of  the  Franciscan  monk  John  de  Piano  Carpini; 
the  account  of  Prester  John  is  taken  from  the  Epistle  ascribed  to 
him,  and  from  stories  current  in  the  fourteenth  century.  There  are, 
furthermore,  large  borrowings  from  the  book  of  the  Lombard  Fran- 
ciscan friar  Odoric  of  Pordenone,  who  traveled  in  the  Orient  between 
1317  and  1330,  and  on  his  return  had  his  adventures  set  down  in  Latin 
by  a  brother  of  his  order.  The  itinerary  of  the  German  knight  Will- 
iam of  Boldensele,  about  1336,  is  also  laid  under  contribution.  What 
then  can  be  credited  to  Sir  John  ?  While  learned  men  are  waxing  hot 
over  conjectures  the  answers  to  which  seem  beyond  the  search-light 
of  exact  investigation,  the  unsophisticated  reader  holds  fast  by  the 
testimony  of  the  knight  himself  as  to  his  own  identity,  accepting  it 
along  with  the  marvels  narrated  in  the  book:  — 

<(  I  John  Maundevile,  Knight,  all  be  it  I  be  not  worthy,  that  was  born  in 
England,  in  the  town  of  St.  Albans,  passed  the  sea  in  the  year  of  our  Lord 
Jesu  Christ,  1322,  in  the  day  of  St.  Michaelmas;  and  hitherto  have  been  long 
time  over  the  Sea.  and  have  seen  and  gone  through  many  diverse  Lands,  and 


5656  SIR  JOHN  MANDEVILLE 

many  Provinces  and  Kingdoms  and  Isles,  and  have  passed  through  Tartary, 
Persia,  Ermony  [Armenia]  the  Little  and  'the  Great ;  through  Lybia,  Chaldea, 
and  a  great  part  of  Ethiopia;  through  Amazonia,  Ind  the  Less  and  the  More,  a 
great  Part;  and  throughout  many  other  Isles,  that  be  about  Ind:  where  dwell 
many  diverse  Folks,  and  of  diverse  Manners  and  Laws,  and  of  diverse  Shapes 
of  Men.  Of  which  Lands  and  Isles  I  shall  speak  more  plainly  hereafter. 

«And  I  shall  advise  you  of  some  Part  of  things  that  there  be,  when  Time 
shall  be  hereafter,  as  it  may  best  come  to  my  Mind;  and  especially  for  them 
that  will  and  are  in  Purpose  to  visit  the  Holy  City  of  Jerusalem  and  the 
Holy  Places  that  are  thereabout.  And  I  shall  tell  the  way  that  they  shall 
hold  hither.  For  I  have  often  times  passed  and  ridden  the  Way,  with  good 
company  of  many  Lords.  God  be  thanked. » 

And  again  in  the  epilogue:  — 

<(And  ye  shall  understand,  if  it  like  you,  that  at  mine .  Home-coming,  1 
came  to  Rome,  and  showed  my  Life  to  our  Holy  Father  the  Pope,  .  .  . 
and  amongst  all  I  showed  him  this  treatise,  that  I  had  made  after  information 
of  Men  that  knew  of  things  that  I  had  not  seen  myself,  and  also  of  Marvels 
and  Customs  that  I  had  seen  myself,  as  far  as  God  would  give  me  grace; 
and  besought  his  Holy  Father-hood,  that  my  Book  might  be  examined  and 
corrected  by  Advice  of  his  wise  and  discreet  Council.  And  our  Holy  Father, 
of  his  special  Grace,  remitted  my  Book  to  be  examined  and  proved  by  the 
Advice  of  his  said  Council.  By  the  which  my  Book  was  proved  true.  .  .  . 
And  I  John  Maundevile,  Knight,  above  said,  although  I  be  unworthy,  that 
departed  from  our  Countries  and  passed  the  Sea  the  Year  of  Grace  1322,  that 
have  passed  many  Lands  and  many  Isles  and  Countries,  and  searched  many 
full  strange  Places,  and  have  been  in  many  a  full  good  honorable  Company, 
and  at  many  a  fair  Deed  of  Arms,  albeit  that  I  did  none  myself,  for  mine 
incapable  Insufficiency,  now  am  come  Home,  maugre  myself,  to  Rest.  For 
Gouts  and  Rheumatics,  that  distress  me  —  those  define  the  End  of  my  Labor 
against  my  Will,  God  knoweth. 

<(And  thus,  taking  solace  in  my  wretched  rest,  recording  the  Time  passed, 
I  have  fulfilled  these  Things,  and  put  them  written  in  this  Book,  as  it  would 
come  into  my  Mind,  the  Year  of  Grace  1356,  in  the  34th  year  that  I  departed 
from  our  countries. )J 

The  book  professes,  then,  to  be  primarily  a  guide  for  pilgrims  to 
Jerusalem  by  four  routes,  with  a  handbook  of  the  holy  places.  But 
Sir  John's  love  of  the  picturesque  and  the  marvelous,  and  his  delight 
in  a.  good  story,  lead  him  to  linger  along  the  way :  nay,  to  go  out  of 
his  way  in  order  to  pick  up  a  legend  or  a  tale  wherewith  to  enliven 
the  dry  facts  of  the  route ;  as  if  his  pilgrims,  weary  and  footsore  with 
long  day  journeys,  needed  a  bit  of  diversion  to  cheer  them  along  the 
way.  When,  after  many  a  detour,  he  is  finally  brought  into  Pales- 
tine, the  pilgrim  is  made  to  feel  that  every  inch  is  holy  ground. 
The  guide  scrupulously  locates  even  the  smallest  details  of  Bible 
history.  He  takes  it  all  on  faith.  He  knows  nothing  of  nineteenth- 


SIR  JOHN   MANDEVILLE  9657 

century  <(  higher  criticism,"  nor  does  he  believe  in  spiritual  interpre- 
tation. He  will  point  you  out  the 

«rock  where  Jacob  was  sleeping  when  he  saw  the  angels  go  up  and  down  a 
ladder.  .  .  .  And  upon  that  rock  sat  our  Lady,  and  learned  her  psalter. 
.  .  .  Also  at  the  right  side  of  that  Dead  Sea  dwelleth  yet  the  Wife  of  Lot 
in  Likeness  of  a  Salt  Stone.  .  .  .  And  in  that  Plain  is  the  Tomb  of  Job. 
.  .  .  And  there  is  the  Cistern  where  Joseph,  which  they  sold,  was  cast  in 
of  by  his  Brethren.  .  .  .  There  nigh  is  Gabriel's  Well  where  our  Lord 
was  wont  to  bathe  him,  when  He  was  young,  and  from  that  Well  bare  the 
Water  often-time  to  His  Mother.  And  in  that  Well  she  washed  often-time 
the  Clothes  of  her  Son  Jesu  Christ.  ...  On  that  Hill,  and  in  that  same 
Place,  at  the  Day  of  Doom,  4  Angels  with  4  Trumpets  shall 'blow  and  raise 
all  Men  that  have  suffered  Death. » 

He  touches  on  whatever  would  appeal  to  the  pious  imagination 
of  the  pilgrims,  and  helps  them  to  visualize  the  truths  of  their  reli- 
gion. When  he  leaves  Palestine, —  a  country  he  knew  perhaps  better 
than  ever  man  before  or  since  his  day, —  and  goes  into  the  more 
mythical  regions  of  Ind  the  Little  and  More,  Cathay  and  Persia,  his 
imagination  fairly  runs  riot.  With  an  Oriental  love  of  the  gorgeous 
he  describes  the  (<  Royalty  of  the  Palace  of  the  Great  Chan,^  or 
of  Prester  John's  abode, —  splendors  not  to  be  outdone  even  by  the 
genie  of  Aladdin's  wonderful  lamp.  He  takes  us  into  regions  lustrous 
with  gold  and  silver,  diamonds  and  other  precious  stones.  We  have 
indeed  in  the  latter  half  of  the  book  whole  chapters  rivaling  the 
'Arabian  Nights y  in  their  weird  luxurious  imaginings,  and  again  in 
their  grotesque  creations  of  men  and  beasts  and  plant  life.  What 
matter  where  Sir  John  got  his  material  for  his  marvels, — his  rich, 
monster-teeming  Eastern  world,  with  its  Amazons  and  pigmies;  its 
people  with  hound's  heads,  that  <(be  great  folk  and  well-fighting » ;  its 
wild  geese  with  two  heads,  and  lions  all  white  and  great  as  oxen; 
men  with  eyes  in  their  shoulders,  and  men  without  heads;  (<folk  that 
have  the  Face  all  flat,  all  plain,  without  Nose  and  without  Mouth w ; 
«  folk  that  have  great  Ears  and  long  that  hang  down  to  their  Knees » ; 
and  (<folk  that  run  marvelously  swift  with  one  foot  so  large  that  it 
serves  them  as  umbrella  against  the  sun  when  they  lie  down  to  rest }> ; 
the  Hippotaynes,  half  man  and  half  horse;  griffins  that  (<have  the 
Body  upwards  as  an  Eagle  and  beneath  as  a  Lion,  and  truly  they 
say  truth,  that  they  be  of  that  shape. }>  We  find  hints  of  many  old 
acquaintances  of  the  wonder-world  of  story-books,  and  fables  from 
classic  soil.  The  giants  with  one  eye  in  the  middle  of  the  forehead 
are  close  brothers  to  the  Cyclops  Polyphemus,  whom  Ulysses  outwit- 
ted. The  adamant  rocks  were  surely  washed  by  the  same  seas  that 
swirled  around  the  magnetic  mountain  whereon  Sindbad  the  Sailor 
was  wrecked.  Sir  John  was  in  truth  a  masterful  borrower,  levying 


9658  SIR  JOHN   MANDEVILLE 

tribute  on  all  the  superstitions,  the  legends,  the  stories,  and  the 
fables  current  in  his  time,  a  time  when  the  distinction  between  meum 
and  tuum,  in  literature  as  well  as  in  other  matters,  was  not  as  finely 
drawn  as  it  is  now.  Whatever  a  man  could  use,  he  plagiarized  and 
considered  as  his  own.  Where  the  robber-baron  filched  by  means  of 
the  sword,  Sir  John  filched  by  means  of  the  pen.  He  took  his  mon- 
sters out  of  Pliny,  his  miracles  out  of  legends,  his  strange  stories  out 
of  romances.  He  meant  to  leave  no  rumor  or  invention  unchronicled ; 
and  he  prefaces  his  most  amazing  assertions  with  <(  They  say })  or 
<(Men  say,  but  I  have  not  seen  it.®  He  fed  the  gullibility  of  his  age 
to  the  top  of  its  bent,  and  compiled  a  book  so  popular  that  more 
copies  from  the  fourteenth-century  editions  remain  than  of  any  other 
book  except  the  Bible. 


THE  MARVELOUS  RICHES  OF  PRESTER  JOHN 
From  <The  Adventures  > 

IN  THE  Land  of  Prester  John  be  many  divers  Things  and 
many  precious  Stones,  so  great  and'  so  large,  that  Men  make 
of  them  Vessels,  as  Platters,  Dishes,  and  Cups.  And  many 
other  Marvels  be  there,  that  it  were  too  cumbrous  and  too  long 
to  put  in  Writing  of  Books;  but  of  the  principal  Isles  and  of  his 
Estate  and  of  his  Law,  I  shall  tell  you  some  Part.  .  .  . 

And  he  hath  under  him  72  Provinces,  and  in  every  Province 
is  a  King.  And  these  Kings  have  Kings  under  them,  and  all 
be  Tributaries  to  Prester  John.  And  he  hath  in  his  Lordships 
many  great  Marvels. 

For  in  his  Country  is  the  Sea  that  Men  call  the  Gravelly 
Sea,  that  is  all  Gravel  and  Sand,  without  any  Drop  of  W^ater,  and 
it  ebbeth  and  floweth  in  great  Waves  as  other  Seas  do,  and  it  is 
never  still  nor  at  Peace  in  any  manner  of  Season.  And  no  Man 
may  pass  that  Sea  by  Ship,  nor  by  any  manner  of  Craft,  and 
therefore  may  no  Man  know  what  Land  is  beyond  that  Sea. 
And  albeit  that  it  have  no  Water,  yet  Men  find  therein  and  on 
the  Banks  full  good  Fishes  of  other  manner  of  Nature  and  shape 
than  Men  find  in  any  other  Sea,  and  they  be  of  right  good 
Taste  and  delicious  for  Man's  Meat. 

And  a  3  Days'  Journey  long  from  that  Sea  be  great  Mount- 
ains, out  of  the  which  goeth  out  a  great  River  that  cometh  out 
of  Paradise.  And  it  is  full  of  precious  Stones,  without  any  Drop 
of  Water,  and  it  runneth  through  the  Desert  on  the  one  Side, 


SIR  JOHN  MANDEVILLE 

so  that  it  maketh  the  Sea  gravelly;  and  it  runneth  into  that  Sea, 
and  there  it  endeth.  And  that  River  runneth,  also,  3  Days  in 
the  Week  and  bringeth  with  him  great  Stones  and  the  Rocks 
also  therewith,  and  that  great  Plenty.  And  anon,  as  they  be 
entered  into  the  Gravelly  Sea,  they  be  seen  no  more,  but  lost 
for  evermore.  And  in  those  3  Days  that  that  River  runneth,  no 
Man  dare  enter  into  it;  but  on  other  Days  Men  dare  enter  well 
enough. 

Also  beyond  that  River,  more  upward  to  the  Deserts,  is  a 
great  Plain  all  gravelly,  between  the  Mountains.  And  in  that 
Plain,  every  Day  at  the  Sun-rising,  begin  to  grow  small  Trees, 
and  they  grow  till  Midday, .bearing  Fruit;  but  no  Man  dare  take 
of  that  Fruit,  for  it  is  a  Thing  of  Faerie.  And  after  Midday 
they  decrease  and  enter  again  into  the  Earth,  so  that  at  the 
going  down  of  the  Sun  they  appear  no  more.  And  so  they  do, 
every  Day.  And  that  is  a  great  Marvel. 

In  that  Desert  be  many  Wild  Men,  that  be  hideous  to  look 
on;  for  they  be  horned,  and  they  speak  naught,  but  they  grunt, 
as  Pigs.  And  there  is  also  great  Plenty  of  wild  Hounds.  And 
there  be  many  Popinjays  [or  Parrots]  that  they  call  Psittakes  in 
their  Language.  And  they  speak  of  their  own  Nature,  and  say 
( Salve!  *  [God  save  you !]  to  Men  that  go  through  the  Deserts, 
and  speak  to  them  as  freely  as  though  it  were  a  Man  that  spoke. 
And  they  that  speak  well  have  a  large  Tongue,  and  have  5  Toes 
upon  a  Foot.  And  there  be  also  some  of  another  Manner,  that 
have  but  3  Toes  upon  a  Foot;  and  they  speak  not,  or  but  little, 
for  they  cannot  but  cry. 

This  Emperor  Prester  John  when  he  goeth  into  Battle  against 
any  other  Lord,  he  hath  no  Banners  borne  before  him;  but  he 
hath  3  Crosses  of  Gold,  fine,  great,  and  high,  full  of  precious 
Stones,  and  every  one  of  the  Crosses  be  set  in  a  Chariot,  full 
richly  arrayed.  And  to  keep  every  Cross,  be  ordained  10,000 
Men  of  Arms  and  more  than  100,000  Men  on  Foot,  in  manner  as 
when  Men  would  keep  a  Standard  in  our  Countries,  when  that 
we  be  in  a  Land  of  War.  .  .  . 

He  dwelleth  commonly  in  the  City  of  Susa.  And  there  is 
his  principal  Palace,  that  is  so  rich  and  noble  that  no  Man  will 
believe  it  by  Estimation,  but  he  had  seen  it.  And  above  the 
chief  Tower  of  the  Palace  be  2  round  Pommels  or  Balls  of 
Gold,  and  in  each  of  them  be  2  Carbuncles  great  and  large,  that 
shine  full  bright  upon  the  Night.  And  the  principal  gates  of 


966o  SIR  JOHN  MANDEVILLE 

his  Palace  be  of  precious  Stone  that  Men  call  Sardonyx,  and  the 
Border  and  the  Bars  be  of  Ivory.  And  the  Windows  of  the  Halls 
and  Chambers  be  of  Crystal.  And  the  Tables  whereon  Men  eat, 
some  be  of  Emeralds,  some  of  Amethyst,  and  some  of  Gold,  full 
of  precious  Stones;  and  the  Pillars  that  bear  up  the  Tables  be 
of  the  same  precious  Stones.  And  of  the  Steps  to  go  up  to 
his  Throne,  where  he  sitteth  at  Meat,  one  is  of  Onyx,  another  is 
of  Crystal,  and  another  of  green  Jasper,  another  of  Amethyst, 
another  of  Sardine,  another  of  Cornelian,  and  the  yth,  that  he 
setteth  his  Feet  on,  is  of  Chrysolite.  And  all  these  Steps  be 
bordered  with  fine  Gold,  with  the  other  precious  Stones,  set  with 
great  orient  Pearls.  And  the  Sides  of  the  Seat  of  his  Throne 
be  of  Emeralds,  and  bordered  with  Gold  full  nobly,  and  dubbed 
with  other  precious  Stones  and  great  Pearls.  And  all  the  Pillars 
in  his  Chamber  be  of  fine  Gold  with  Precious  Stones,  and  with 
many  Carbuncles,  that  give  Light  upon  the  Night  to  all  People. 
And  albeit  that  the  Carbuncles  give  Light  right  enough,  never- 
theless, at  all  Times  burneth  a  Vessel  of  Crystal  full  of  Balm,  to 
give  good  Smell  and  Odor  to  the  Emperor,  and  to  void  away  all 
wicked  Eyes  and  Corruptions. >} 


FROM   HEBRON  TO   BETHLEHEM 
From  the  <  Adventures  > 

AND  in  Hebron  be  all  the  Sepultures  of  the  Patriarchs, — 
Adam,  Abraham,  Isaac,  and  of  Jacob;  and  of  their  Wives, 
Eve,  Sarah  and  Rebecca  and  of  Leah;  the  which  Sepul- 
tures the  Saracens  keep  full  carefully,  and  have  the  Place  in 
great  Reverence  for  the  holy  Fathers,  the  Patriarchs  that  lie 
there.  And  they  suffer  no  Christian  Man  to  enter  into  the 
Place,  but  if  it  be  of  special  Grace  of  the  Sultan;  for  they  hold 
Christian  Men  and  Jews  as  Dogs,  and  they  say,  that  they  should 
not  enter  into  so  holy  a  Place.  And  Men  call  that  Place,  where 
they  lie,  Double  Splunk  (Spelunca  Duplex),  or  Double  Cave,  or 
Double  Ditch,  forasmuch  as  one  lieth  above  another.  And  the 
Saracens  call  that  Place  in  their  Language,  ^Karicarba*  that 
is  to  say  <(  The  Place  of  Patriarchs. w  And  the  Jews  call  that 
Place  ^Arboth?  And  in  that  same  Place  was  Abraham's  House, 
and  there  he  sat  and  saw  3  Persons,  and  worshiped  but  one;  as 
Holy  Writ  saith,  (<  Tres  vidit  et  unum  adoravit; }>  that  is  to  say, 


SIR  JOHN  MANDEVILLE  9661 

saw  3  and  worshiped  one:  w  and  those  same  were  the  Angels 
that  Abraham  received  ,into  his  House. 

And  right  fast  by  that  Place  is  a  Cave  in  the  Rock,  where 
Adam  and  Eve  dwelled  when  they  were  put  out  of  Paradise; 
and  there  got  they  their  Children.  And  in  that  same  Place  was 
Adam  formed  and  made,  after  that,  that  some  Men  say  (for  Men 
were  wont  to  call  that  Place  the  Field  of  Damascus,  because  that 
it  was  in  the  Lordship  of  Damascus),  and  from  thence  was  he 
translated  into  the  Paradise  of  Delights,  as  they  say;  and  after 
he  was  driven  out  of  Paradise  he  was  left  there.  And  the  same 
Day  that  he  was  put  in  Paradise,  the  same  Day  he  was  put  .out. 
for  anon,  he  sinned.  There  beginneth  the  Vale  of  Hebron,  that 
endureth  nigh  to  Jerusalem.  There  the  Angel  commanded  Adam 
that  he  should  dwell  with  his  Wife  Eve,  of  the  which  he  begat 
Seth;  of  the  which  Tribe,  that  is  to  say  Kindred,  Jesu  Christ 
was  born. 

In  that  Valley  is  a  Field,  where  Men  draw  out  of  the  Earth 
a  Thing  that  Men  call  Cambile,  and  they  eat  it  instead  of  Spice, 
and  they  bear  it  away  to  sell.  And  Men  may  not  make  the 
Hole  or  the  Cave,  where  it  is  taken  out  of  the  Earth,  so  deep  or 
so  wide,  but  that  it  is,  at  the  Year's  End,  full  again  up  to  the 
Sides,  through  the  Grace  of  God.  .  .  . 

From  Hebron  Men  go  to  Bethlehem  in  half  a  Day.  for  it  is 
but  5  Mile;  and  it  is  a  full  fair  Way,  by  Plains  and  Woods  full 
delectable.  Bethlehem  is  a  little  City,  long  and  narrow  and  well 
walled,  and  on  each  Side  enclosed  with  good  Ditches:  and  it  was 
wont  to  be  clept  Ephrata,  as  Holy  Writ  saith,  *Ecce,  andimus 
eum  in  Ephrata^  that  is  to  say,  (<  Lo,  we  heard  it  in  Ephrata.8 
And  toward  the  East  End  of  the  City  is  a  full  fair  Church  and 
a  gracious,  and  it  hath  many  Towers,  Pinnacles  and  Corners,  full 
strong  and  curiously  made;  and  within  that  Church  be  44  Pillars 
of  Marble,  great  and  fair.  .  .  . 

Also  besides  the  Choir  of  the  Church,  at  the  right  Side,  as 
Men  come  downward  16  Steps,  is  the  Place  where  our  Lord  was 
born,  that  is  full  well  adorned  with  Marble,  and  full  richly 
painted  with  Gold,  Silver,  Azure  and  other  Colours.  And  3 
Paces  beyond  is  the  Crib  of  the  Ox  and  the  Ass.  And  beside 
that  is  the  Place  where  the  Star  fell,  that  led  the  3  Kings,  Jas- 
per, Melchior  and  Balthazar  (but  Men  of  Greece  call  them  thus, 
<(  Galgalathe,  Malgalathe,  and  Seraphie,"  and  the  Jews  call  them 
in  this  manner,  in  Hebrew,  <(Appelius,  Amerrius,  and  Damasus*). 


SIR  JOHN  MANDEVILLE 

These  3  Kings  offered  to  our  Lord,  Gold,  Incense  and  Myrrh, 
and  they  met  together  through  Miracle .  of  God ;  for  they  met 
together  in  a  City  in  Ind,  that  Men  call  Cassak,  that  is  a  53 
Days'  Journey  from  Bethlehem;  and  they  were  at  Bethlehem 
the  1 3th  Day;  and  that  was  the  4th  Day  after  that  they  had 
seen  the  Star,  when  they  met  in  that  City,  and  thus  they  were 
in  9  days  from  that  City  at  Bethlehem,  and  that  was  a  great 
Miracle. 

Also,  under  the  Cloister  of  the  Church,  by  18  Steps  at  the 
right  Side,  is  the  Charnel-house  of  the  Innocents,  where  their 
Bodies  lie.  And  before  the  Place  where  our  Lord  was  born  is 
the  Tomb  of  St.  Jerome,  that  was  a  Priest  and  a  Cardinal,  that 
translated  the  Bible  and  the  Psalter  from  Hebrew  into  Latin: 
and  without  the  Minster  is  the  Chair  that  he  sat  in  when  he 
translated  it.  And  fast  beside  that  Church,  at  60  Fathom,  is  a 
Church  of  St.  Nicholas,  where  our  Lady  rested  her  after  she  was 
delivered  of  our  Lord;  and  forasmuch  as  she  had  too  much  Milk 
in  her  Paps,  that  grieved  her,  she  milked  them  on  the  red  Stones 
of  Marble,  so  that  the  Traces  may  yet  be  seen,  in  the  Stones,  all 
white. 

And  ye  shall  understand,  that 'all  that  dwell  in  Bethlehem  be 
Christian  Men. 

And  there  be  fair  Vines  about  the  City,  and  great  plenty  of 
Wine,  that  the  Christian  Men  have  made.  But  the  Saracens  till 
not  the  Vines,  neither  drink  they  any  Wine:  for  their  Books  of 
their  Law,  that  Mohammet  gave  them,  which  they  call  their  <(A1 
Koran w  (and  some  call  it  "Mesaph,"  and  in  another  language  it 
is  clept  "Harme,") — the  same  Book  forbiddeth  them  to  drink 
Wine.  For  in  that  Book,  Mohammet  cursed  all  those  that  drink 
Wine  and  all  them  that  sell  it:  for  some  Men  say,  that  he  slew 
once  an  Hermit  in  his  Drunkenness,  that  he  loved  full  well;  and 
therefore  he  cursed  Wine  and  them  that  drink  it.  But  his  Curse 
be  turned  onto  his  own  Head,  as  Holy  Writ  saith,  «Et  in  verticem 
ipsius  iniquitas  ejus  descendet; >J  that  is  to  say,  (<  His  Wickedness 
shall  turn  and  fall  onto  his  own  Head. w 

And  also  the  Saracens  breed  no  Pigs,  nor  eat  they  any 
Swine's  Flesh,  for  they  say  it  is  Brother  to  Man,  and"  it  was  for- 
bidden by  the  old  Law;  and  they  hold  him  accursed  that  eateth 
thereof.  Also  in  the  Land  of  Palestine  and  in  the  Land  of 
Egypt,  they  eat  but  little  or  none  of  Flesh  of  Veal  or  of  Beef, 
but  if  the  Beast  be  so  old,  that  he  may  no  more  work  for  old 


SIR  JOHN  MANDEVILLE 

Age;  for  it  is  forbidden,  because  they  have  but  few  of  them; 
therefore  they  nourish  them  to  till  their  Lands. 

In  this  City  of  Bethlehem  was  David  the  King  born;  and  he 
had  60  Wives,  and  the  first  wife  was  called  Michal;  and  also  he 
had  300  Lemans. 

And  from  Bethlehem  unto  Jerusalem  is  but  2  Mile;  and  in 
the  Way  to  Jerusalem  half  a  Mile  from  Bethlehem  is  a  Church, 
where  the  Angel  said  to  the  Shepherds  of  the  Birth  of  Christ. 
And  in  that  Way  is  the  Tomb  of  Rachel,  that  was  the  Mother 
of  Joseph  the  Patriarch;  and  she  died  anon  after  that  she  was 
delivered  of  her  Son  Benjamin.  And  there  she  was  buried  by 
Jacob  her  Husband;  and  he  made  set  12  great  Stones  on  her,  in 
Token  that  she  had  born  12  Children.  In  the  same  Way,  half  a 
Mile  from  Jerusalem,  appeared  the  Star  to  the  3  Kings.  In  that 
Way  also  be  many  Churches  of  Christian  Men,  by  the  which  Men 
go  towards  the  City  of  Jerusalem. 


9664 


JAMES  CLARENCE  MANGAN 

1803-1849 

,N  THE  summer  of  1894  some  workmen  engaged  in  removing  a 
mass  of  rubbish,  to  make  room  for  a  new  building  in  one  of 
the  poorer  quarters  of  Dublin,  came  upon  the  ruins  of  an 
old  cellar.  A  casual  passer-by  happened  to  notice  the  old  wall,  with 
its  low  window  looking  out  upon  a  level  with  the  narrow  and  squalid 
alley.  Moved  by  some  bookish  recollection,  he  realized  that  he  was 
standing  at  the  corner  of  Bride  Street  and  Myler's  Alley,  known  in 
the  older  days  as  Glendalough  Lane;  and  that  the  miserable  vestige 
of  human  habitation  into  which  the  rough  navvies  were  driving  their 
pickaxes  had  once  been  the  poor  shelter  of  him  who, — 

«Worn  by  weakness,  disease,  and  wrong, 

Had  fled  for  shelter  to  God,  who  mated 
His  soul  with  song.» 

From  this  spot  James  Clarence  Mangan,  wasted  with  famine  and 
already  delirious,  was  carried  by  the  Overseers  of  the  Poor  to  the 
sheds  of  Meath  Hospital  in  June  1849;  too  late,  alas!  to  save  the 
dying  man,  who  in  the  years  of  his  young  manhood  had  sung  and 
suffered  for  Ireland.  A  few  friends  gathered  about  him  to  comfort 
his  patient  and  gentle  soul,  and  to  lay  his  bones  in  the  cool  clay  of 
Glasnevin. 

The  life  of  Mangan  is  a  convincing  proof  that  differences  of  time 
and  place  have  no  influence  upon  the  poet's  power.  Poverty  and 
Want  were  the  foster-brothers  of  this  most  wonderful  of  Ireland's 
gifted  children.  His  patient  body  was  chained  to  daily  labor  for  the 
sordid  needs  of  an  unappreciating  kindred,  and  none  of  the  pleasant 
joys  of  travel  and  of  diversified  nature  were  his.  He  was  born  in 
Fishamble  Street,  Dublin,  in  1803,  and  never  passed  beyond  the  con- 
fines of  his  native  city;  but  his  spirit  was  not  jailed  by  the  misery 
which  oppressed  his  body.  His  wondrous  fancy  swept  with  a  con- 
queror's march  through  all  the  fair  broad  universe. 

Like  Poe  and  Chatterton,  Mangan  impaired  his  powers  by  the  use 
of  intoxicants.  He  was  very  sensitive  about  the  squalor  of  his  sur- 
roundings, and  was  reticent  and  shy  in  the  company  of  more  fortu- 
nate men  and  women:  but  with  admirable  unselfishness  he  devoted 
his  days,  his  toil,  and  the  meagre  rewards  which  came  to  him  from 
his  work,  to  the  care  and  sustenance  of  his  mean-spirited  kindred. 


JAMES  CLARENCE  MANGAN  9665 

For  years  he  labored  in  the  hopeless  position  of  a  scrivener's  clerk, 
from  which  he  was  rescued  by  the  interest  of  Dr.  Todd,  and  was 
made  an  assistant  librarian  of  Trinity  College.  There  it  was  his 
habit  to  spend  hours  of  rapt  and  speechless  labor  amid  the  dusty 
shelves,  to  earn  his  pittance.  Dr.  Petrie  subsequently  found  him  a 
place  in  the  office  of  the  Irish  Ordnance  Survey;  but  Mangan  was 
his  own  enemy  and  foredoomed  to  defeat.  He  wielded  a  vigorous 
pen  in  Ireland's  cause,  and  under  various  names  communicated  his 
own  glowing  spirit  to  his  countrymen  through  the  columns  of  several 
periodicals.  He  published  also  two  volumes  of  translations  from  the 
German  poets,  which  are  full  of  his  own  lyric  fire  but  have  no  claim 
to  fidelity.  It  was  in  his  gloomy  cellar-home  that  he  poured  out  the 
music  of  his  heart.  When  he  died,  a  volume  of  German  poetry  was 
found  in  his  pocket,  and  there  were  loose  papers  on  which  he  had 
feebly  traced  his  last  thoughts  in  verse.  Mangan  will  forever  remain 
a  cherished  comrade  of  all  gentle  lovers  of  the  Beautiful  and  True. 


THE  DAWNING  OF  THE  DAY 


T 


WAS  a  balmy  summer  morning 
Warm  and  early, 

Such  as  only  June  bestows; 


Everywhere  the  earth  adorning, 

Dews  lay  pearly 
In  the  lily-bell  and  rose. 
Up  from  each  green-leafy  bosk  and  hollow 

Rose  the  blackbird's  pleasant  lay; 
And  the  soft  cuckoo  was  sure  to  follow: 
'Twas  the  dawning  of  the  day! 

Through  the  perfumed  air  the  golden 

Bees  flew  round  me; 
Bright  fish  dazzled  from  the  sea, 
Till  medreamt  some  fairy  olden- 
World  spell  bound  me 
In  a  trance  of  witcherie. 
Steeds  pranced  round  anon  with  stateliest  housings, 

Bearing  riders  prankt  in  rich  array, 
Like  flushed  revelers  after  wine-carousings : 
'Twas  the  dawning  of  the  day! 

Then  a  strain  of  song  was  chanted, 

And  the  lightly 
Floating  sea-nymphs  drew  anear. 


0666  JAMES  CLARENCE  MANGAN 

Then  again  the  shore  seemed  haunted 

By  hosts  brightly 

Clad,  and  wielding  shield  and  spear! 
Then  came  battle  shouts  —  an  onward  rushing  — 

Swords,  and  chariots,  and  a  phantom  fray. 
Then  all  vanished:  the  warm  skies  were  blushing 
In  the  dawning  of  the  day! 

Cities  girt  with  glorious  gardens, 

Whose  immortal 
Habitants  in  robes  of  light 
Stood,  methought,  as  angel-wardens 

Nigh  each  portal, 
Now  arose  to  daze  my  sight. 
Eden  spread  around,  revived  and  blooming; 
When  —  lo!  as  I  gazed,  all  passed  away: 
I  saw  but  black  rocks  and  billows  looming 
In  the  dim  chill  dawn  of  day! 


R 


THE  NAMELESS  ONE 

OLL  forth,  my  song,  like  the  rushing  river 

That  sweeps  along  to  the  mighty  sea; 
God  will  inspire  me  while  I  deliver 
My  soul  of  thee! 


Tell  thou  the  world,  when  my  bones  lie  whitening 

Amid  the  last  homes  of  youth  and  eld, 
That  there  was  once  one  whose  veins  ran  lightning 
No  eye  beheld. 

Tell  how  his  boyhood  was  one  drear  night  hour; 

How  shone  for  him,  through  his  griefs  and  gloom, 
No  star  of  all  heaven  sends  to  light  our 
Path  to  the  tomb. 

Roll  on,  my  song,  and  to  after  ages 

Tell  how,  disdaining  all  earth  can  give, 
He  would  have  taught  men,  from  wisdom's  pages, 
The  way  to  live. 

And  tell  how,  trampled,  derided,  hated, 

And  worn  by  weakness,  disease,  and  wrong, 
He  fled  for  shelter  to  God,  who  mated 
His  soul  with  song — 


JAMES  CLARENCE  MANGAN  9657 

With  song  which  alway,  sublime  or  vapid, 

Flowed  like  a  rill  in  the  morning  beam, 
Perchance  not  deep,  but  intense  and  rapid  — 
A  mountain  stream. 

Tell  how  this  Nameless,  condemned  for  years  long 

To  herd  with  demons  from  hell  beneath, 
Saw  things  that  made  him,  with  groans  and  tears,  long 
For  even  death. 

Go  on  to  tell  how,  with  genius  wasted, 

Betrayed  in  friendship,  befooled  in  love, 
With  spirit  shipwrecked,  and  young  hopes  blasted, 
He  still,  still  strove. 

Till,  spent  with  toil,  dreeing  death  for  others, 

And  some  whose  hands  should  have  wrought  for  him 
(If  children  live  not  for  sires  and  mothers), 
His  mind  grew  dim. 

And  he  fell  far  through  that  pit  abysmal, — 

The  gulf  and  grave  of  Maginn  and  Burns, — 
And  pawned  his  soul  for  the  devil's  dismal 
Stock  of  returns. 

But  yet  redeemed  it  in  days  of  darkness, 

And  shapes  and  signs  of  the  final  wrath, 

When  death,  in  hideous  and  ghastly  starkness, 

Stood  on  his  path. 

And  tell  how  now,  amid  wreck  and  sorrow, 

And  want,  and  sickness,  and  houseless  nights, 
He  bides  in  calmness  the  silent  morrow, 
That  no  ray  lights. 

And  lives  he  still,  then  ?    Yes :   old  and  hoary 

At  thirty-nine,  from  despair  and  woe, 
He  lives,  enduring  what  future  story 
Will  never  know. 

Him  grant  a  grave  too,  ye  pitying  noble, 

Deep  in  your  bosoms!     There  let  him  dwell? 
He  too  had  tears  for  all  souls  in  trouble 
Here  and  in  hell. 


,9668  JAMES  CLARENCE  MANGAN 


ST.   PATRICKS  HYMN   BEFORE  TARAH 

AT  TARAH  to-day,  in  this  awful  hour, 
I  call  on  the  fcoly  Trinity: 
Glory  to  him  who  reigneth  in  power, 
The  God  of  the  elements,  Father  and  Son 
And  Paraclete  Spirit,  which  Three  are  the  One, 
The  ever-existing  Divinity! 

At  Tarah  to-day  I  call  on  the  Lord, 
On  Christ,  the  omnipotent  Word, 
Who  came  to  redeem  from  death  and  sin 

Our  fallen  race; 
And  I  put  and  I  place 
The  virtue  that  lieth  and  liveth  in 
His  incarnation  lowly. 
His  baptism  pure  and  holy, 
His  life  of  toil  and  tears  and  affliction, 
His  dolorous  death  —  his  crucifixion, 
His  burial,  sacred  and  sad  and, lone, 

His  resurrection  to  life  again, 
His  glorious  ascension  to  Heaven's  high  throne* 
And,  lastly,  his  future  dread 

And  terrible  coming  to  judge  all  men  — 
Both  the  living  and  dead.     .     .     . 

At  Tarah  to-day  I  put  and  I  place 

The  virtue  that  dwells  in  the  seraphim's  love, 
And  the  virtue  and  grace 

That  are  in  the  obedience 
And  unshaken  allegiance 
Of  all  the  archangels  and  angels  above, 
And  in  the  hope  of  the  resurrection 
To  everlasting  reward  and  election, 
And  in  the  prayers  of  the  fathers  of  old, 
And  in  the  truths  the  prophets  foretold, 
And  in  the  Apostles'  manifold  preachings, 
And  in  the  confessors'  faith  and  teachings; 
And  in  the  purity  ever  dwelling 

Within  the  immaculate  Virgin's  breast, 
And  in  the  actions  bright  and  excelling 

Of  all  good  men,  the  just  and  the  blest.     ,     , 

At  Tarah  to-day,  in  this  fateful  hour, 
I  place  all  heaven  with  its  power, 


JAMES  CLARENCE  MANGAN  9669 

And  the  sun  with  its  brightness, 

And  the  snow  with  its  whiteness, 

And  fire  with  all  the  strength  it  hath, 

And  lightning  with  its  rapid  wrath, 

And  the  winds  with  their  swiftness  along  their  path, 

And  the  sea  with  its  deepness, 

And  the  rocks  with  their  steepness, 

And  the  earth  with  its  starkness, — 

All  these  I  place, 

By  God's  almighty  help  and  grace, 
Between  myself  and  the  powers  of  darkness. 

At  Tarah  to-day 
May  God  be  my  stay!  • 
May  the  strength  of  God  now  nerve  me! 
May  the  power  of  God  preserve  me! 
May  God  the  Almighty  be  near  me! 
May  God  the  Almighty  espy  me! 
May  God  the  Almighty  hear  me! 

May  God  give  me  eloquent  speech! 
May  the  arm  of  God  protect  me! 
May  the  wisdom  of  God  direct  me! 
May  God  give  me  power  to  teach  and  to  preach! 

May  the  shield  of  God  defend  me! 

May  the  host  of  God  attend  me, 
And  ward  me, 
And  guard  me 

Against  the  wiles  of  demons  and  devils, 
Against  the  temptations  of  vices  and  evils, 
Against  the  bad  passions  and  wrathful  will 

Of  the  reckless  mind  and  the  wicked  heart,— 
Against  every  man  who  designs  me  ill, 

Whether  leagued  with  others  or  plotting  apart! 

In  this  hour  of  hours, 
I  place  all  those  powers 
Between  myself  and  every  foe 
Who  threaten  my  body  and  soul 

With  danger  or  dole, 

To  protect  me  against  the  evils  that  flow 
From  lying  soothsayers'  incantations, 
From  the  gloomy  laws  of  the  Gentile  nations, 
From  heresy's  hateful  innovations, 
From  idolatry's  rites  and  invocations. 


9670  JAMES  CLARENCE  MANGAN 

Be  those  my  defenders, 

My  guards  against  every  ban  — 

And  spell  of  smiths,  and  Druids,  and  women; 

In  fine,  against  every  knowledge  that  renders 

The  light  Heaven  sends  us  dim  in 

The  spirit  and  soul  of  man! 

May  Christ,  I  pray, 
Protect  me  to-day 
Against  poison  and  fire, 
Against  drowning  and  wounding; 
That  so,  in  His  grace  abounding, 
I  may  earn  the  preacher's  hire! 

Christ  as  a  light 

T11  J  -J  I 

Illumine  and  guide  me! 

Christ  as  a  shield  o'ershadow  and  cover  me! 

Christ  be  under  me!  —  Christ  be  over  me  I 
Christ  be  beside  me, 
On  left  hand  and  right! 

Christ  be  before  me,  behind  nie,  about  me, 

Christ  this  day  be  within  and  without  me! 

Christ,  the  lowly  and  meek. 

Christ  the  Ail-Powerful  be 
In  the  heart  of  each  to  whom  I  speak, 
In  the  mouth  of  each  who  speaks  to  me? 

In  all  who  draw  near  me, 

Or  see  me  or  hear  me! 

At  Tarah  to-day,  in  this  awful  hour, 

I  call  on  the  Holy  Trinity! 
Glory  to  Him  who  reigneth  in  power, 
The  God  of  the  elements,  Father  and  Son 
And  Paraclete  Spirit,  which  Three  are  the  One, 
The  ever-existing  Divinity! 

Salvation  dwells  with  the  Lord, 
With  Christ,  the  omnipotent  Word. 
From  generation  to  generation 
Grant  us,  O  Lord,  thy  grace  and  salvation; 


9671 


ALESSANDRO   MANZONI 

(1785-1873) 

BY  MAURICE  FRANCIS  EGAN 

[LESSANDRO  MANZONI  was  looked  upon  during  his  life  as  a  man 
who  had  deserved  well  of  Heaven.  (<He  gazed, »  as  one  of 
his  countrymen  said,  <(at  Fortune  straight  in  the  eyes,  and 
Fortune  smiled. }>  And  Manzoni  might  well  have  looked  with  clear 
eyes,  for  there  was  nothing  in  his  heart  —  if  a  man's  heart  may  be 
judged  from  his  constant  utterances  —  that  was  base. 

He  lived  in  a  time  best  suited  to  his  genius  and  his  temperament. 
And  his  genius  and  his  time  made  an  epoch  in  Italian  history  worthy 
of  most  serious  study.  In  1815  Italy  was 
inarticulate;  she  had  to  speak  by  signs. 
She  dared  only  dream  of  a  future  which 
she  read  in  a  glorious  past.  The  Austrians 
ruled  the  present,  the  future  was  veiled, 
the  past  was  real  and  golden.  Manzoni, 
Pellico,  and  Grossi  were  romanticists  be- 
cause they  were  filled  with  aspiration;  and 
their  aspiration,  clothing  itself  in  the  form 
which  Goethe's  <  Gotz>  and  Sir  Walter  Scott's 
<Marmion)  had  given  to  the  world,  tried  to 
obliterate  the  present  and  find  relief  at  the 
foot  of  the  cross  in  the  shadow  of  old  Gothic 
cathedrals.  The  Comte  de  Mun,  Vicomte 
de  Vogue,  Sienkiewicz,  and  others  of  the 

modern  neo-Catholic  school,  represent  reaction  rather  than  aspiration. 
Manzoni,  Chateaubriand,  Montalembert,  Overbeck  in  art,  Lamartine 
and  Lamennais,  were  not  only  fiercely  reactionary,  but  fiercely  senti- 
mental, hopeful,  and  romantic. 

With  Austrian  bayonets  at  the  throat  of  Italy,  it  was  not  easy 
to  emit  loud  war-cries  for  liberty.  The  desire  of  the  people  must 
therefore  be  heard  through  the  voice  of  the  poet.  .  And  the  desire  of 
the  Italians  is  manifest  in  the  poetry  and  the  prose  of  the  author  of 
<The  Betrothed >  (I  Promessi  Sposi),  and  the  <  Sacred  Hymns.*  Only 
two  reproaches  were  made  against  Manzoni:  he  was  praised  by  Goe- 
the,—  which,  (( says  a  sneer  turned  proverb, w  as  Mr.  Howells  puts  it, 
<(is  a  brevet  of  mediocrity, w  —  and  he  was  not  persecuted.  <(  Goethe, x> 


ALESSANDRO  MANZONI 


9672 


ALESSANDRO  MANZONI 


Mr.  Howells  continues,  (< could  not  laud  Manzoni's  tragedies  too  highly; 
he  did  not  find  one  word  too  much  or  too  little  in  them;  the  style 
was  free,  noble,  full,  and  rich.  As  to  the  religious  lyrics,  the  manner 
of  their  treatment  was  fresh  and  individual  although  the  matter  and 
the  significance  were  not  new,  and  the  poet  was  (a  Christian  without 
fanaticism,  a  Roman  Catholic  without  bigotry,  a  zealot  without  hard- 
ness.>}) 

In  1815  the  Continental  revolt  against  the  doctrines  of  Rousseau 
and  Voltaire  was  at  its  highest.  The  period  that  produced  Cesare 
Cantu  was  likewise  the  period  when  Ossian  and  Byron  had  become 
the  favorite  poets  of  the  younger  men.  Classicism  and  infidelity  were 
both  detested.  The  last  king  was  not,  after  all,  to  be  strangled  with 
the  entrails  of  the  last  priest.  (<God  might  rest,*'  as  a  writer  on  the 
time  remarks  with  naivete.  It  was  the  fashion  to  be  respectful  to 
him.  Italy  was  willing  to  disown  the  paganism  of  the  Renaissance 
for  the  moral  teaching  of  the  ages  that  preceded  it.  Manzoni  and 
his  school  held  that  true  patriotism  must  be  accompanied  by  virtue; 
and  in  a  country  where  Machiavelli's  (  Prince  }  had  become  a  classic, 
this  seemed  a  new  doctrine.  The  movement  which  Manzoni  repre- 
sented was  above  all  religious;  the  pope  was  again  transfigured,  and 
in  his  case  by  a  man  who  had  begun  life  with  the  most  liberal  tenden- 
cies. As  it  was,  he  never  accepted  the  belief  that  the  pope  must 
necessarily  be  a  ruler  of  great  temporalities;  but  of  the  sincerity 
and  fervor  of  his  faith  in  the  Catholic  Church  one  finds  ample  proof 
in  his  ( Sacred  Hymns.' 

Born  at  Milan  in  1785,  he  married  Mademoiselle  Blondel  in  1808. 
Her  father  was  a  banker  of  Geneva;  and  tradition  says  that  he  was 
of  that  cultivated  group  of  financiers  to  whom  the  Neckers  belonged, 
and  that  his  daughter  was  of  a  most  dazzling  blonde  beauty.  The 
Blondels,  like  the  Neckers,  were  Protestants;  but  at  Milan,  Louise 
Blondel  entered  the  Catholic  Church  and  confirmed  the  wavering 
faith  of  her  young  husband,  who  began  at  once  the  (  Sacred  Hymns. } 
In  these  Mr.  Howells  praises  <(  the  irreproachable  taste  and  unaffected 
poetic  appreciation  of  the  grandeur  of  Christianity, w  One  may  go 
even  further;  for  they  have  the  fervor,  the  exultation,  the  knowledge 
that  the  Redeemer  liveth,  in  a  fullness  which  we  do  not  find  in  sacred 
song  outside  the  Psalms  of  David,  the  <  Dies  Irae,*  and  the  ( Stabat 
Mater.  > 

Manzoni's  poems  were  not  many,  but  they  all  have  the  element  of 
greatness  in  them.  We  can  understand  why  the  invading  Austrians 
desired  to  honor  him,  when  we  read  his  ode  (  The  Fifth  of  May*  (on 
the  death  of  Napoleon),  or  his  two  noble  tragedies  <The  Count  of 
Carmagnola*  and  <Adelchi,>  or  that  pride  of  all  Italians,  his  master- 
piece, <  The  Betrothed >  (< I  Promessi  Sposi  >X  We  can  understand  too 


ALESSANDRO  MANZONI 


9673 


the  lofty  haughtiness  that  induced  him  to  refuse  these  honors,  and 
to  relinquish  his  hereditary  title  of  Count,  rather  than  submit  to  the 
order  that  he  must  register  himself  as  an  Austrian  subject.  The  gov- 
ernment, however,  did  not  cease  to  offer  honors  to  him;  all  of  which, 
except  the  Italian  senatorship  proffered  him  in  1860,  he  declined. 
Great  tragedies,  like  Shelley's  'Cenci,*  Sir  Henry  Taylor's  Philip  van 
Artevelde,'  and  Sir  Aubrey  De  Vere's  (Mary  Tudor,  }  may  be  unact- 
able; they  may  speak  best  to  the  heart  and  mind  only  through  the 
written  word.  Manzoni's  are  of  this  class.  They  have  elevation, 
dramatic  feeling,  the  power  of  making  emotion  vital  and  of  inspiring 
passionate  sympathy  with  the  intention  of  the  author;  but  even  Sal- 
vini,  Rossi,  or  Ristori  could  not  make  them  possible  for  the  stage. 
In  the  (  Count  of  Carmagnola,*  which  celebrated  the  physical  ruin  but 
moral  success  of  a  noble  man,  Manzoni  in  1820  shocked  the  classicists 
and  won  their  hatred.  They  loved  Aristotle  and  his  rules;  Manzoni 
broke  every  rule  as  thoroughly  as  Shakespeare  and  as  consciously  as 
Victor  Hugo.  He  was  looked  upon  as  a  literary,  artistic  apostate.  In 
his  explanation  of  his  reasons  for  this  assault  on  an  old  world,  he 
makes  an  audacious  apologia  which  Alfred  de  Musset  might  have  read 
with  profit  before  despairing  of  a  definition  of  romanticism,  ^delchi* 
followed  in  1822,  still  further  exasperating  the  fury  of  the  classicists, 
who  hated  Manzoni  and  romance ;  foreseeing  perhaps  by  intuition  that 
the  romantic  school  was  to  be  the  ancestor  of  the  realistic  school, 
whose  horrors  were  only  dimly  dreamed  of. 

The  < Sacred  Hymns,  >  <The  Count  of  Carmagnola,>  <Adelchi,>  <  The 
Betrothed,*  and  the  great  ( Fifth  of  May)  ode  on  the  death  of  Napo- 
leon, are  the  works  by  which  Manzoni's  fame  was  established.  The 
tragedies  —  c  Carmagnola  *  of  the  fifteenth  century,  ( Adelchi  y  of  the 
eighth  —  would  live  for  their  strong  lyrical  element,  even  were  the 
quality  of  eloquence  and  the  fire  that  must  underlie  eloquence  lack- 
ing. Pathos  is  exquisite  in  both  these  plays;  the  marble  hearts 
of  the  Italian  classic  tragedy  are  replaced  here  by  vital,  palpitating 
flesh.  When  Carmagnola  dies  for  his  act  of  humanity  in  releasing 
his  prisoners  of  war,  and  Ermengarda,  whose  loveliness  is  portrayed 
with  the  delicacy  of  the  hand  that  drew  Elaine,  passes  away  in  her 
convent,  one  feels  that  the  world  may  indeed  mourn.  And  when  a 
poet  can  force  us  to-  take  the  shades  of  the  Middle  Ages  for  real 
human  beings,  no  man  may  deny  his  gift. 

( The  Fifth  of  May,*  the  noblest  ode  in  the  Italian  language, 
almost  defies  translation.  Mr.  Howells  has  made  the  best  possible 
version  of  it.  Napoleon  had  wronged  Italy,  but  Italy  speaking 
through  its  poet  forgave  him. 

(<  Beautiful,  deathless,  beneficent, 
Faith !  used  to  triumphs  even 


9674  ALESSANDRO  MANZONI 

This  also  writes  exultingly; 

No  loftier  pride  'neath  heaven 
Unto  the  shame  of  Calvary 

Stooped  ever  yet  its  crest. 
Thou  from  his  weary  mortality 

Disperse  all  bitter  passions; 
The  God  that  humbleth  and  hearteneth, 

That  comforts  and  that  chastens. 
Upon  the  pillow  else  desolate 

To  his  pale  lips  lay  pressed !» 

<The  Betrothed }  is  one  of  the  classics  of  fiction.  It  appeared  in 
1825.  Since  that  time  it  has  been  translated  into  every  language  in 
the  civilized  world.  It  deserves  the  verdict  which  time  has  passed 
upon  it.  Don  Abbondio  and  Cardinal  Federigo  Borromeo,  Renzo  and 
Lucia,  and  Don  Rodrigo,  go  on  from  year  to  year  seeming  to  gain 
new  vitality.  It  will  bear  the  test  of  a  reading  in  youth  and  a  re- 
reading in  old  age;  and  there  are  few  books  of  fiction  of  which  this 
can  be  said, — it  is  a  standard  of  their  greatness. 

Manzoni  died  in  1873.  His  patriotic  dreams  had  not  been  entirely 
realized;  but  he  passed  away  content,  in  faith  and  hope.  His  career 
was  on  the  whole  happy  and  serene.  He  loved  the  simple  things  of 
life,  and  looked  on  life  itself  as  only  a  vestibule  —  to  be  nobly 
adorned,  however  —  to  a  place  of  absolute  peace. 

Arnaud's  (I  Poetti  Patriottica>  (1862);  (Storia  della  Litteratura 
Italiana,*  by  De  Sanctis  (1879);  and  William  Dean  Howells's  (  Modern 
Italian  Poets }  (Harper  &  Brothers:  1887), — are  valuable  books  of  ref- 
erence on  the  romantic  movement  in  Italy,  and  on  the  position  of 
Manzoni  in  that  movement.  The  best  translation  of  (  The  Betrothed  > 
is  included  in  the  Bonn  Library. 


Q 


AN   UNWILLING  PRIEST 
From  <The  Betrothed  > 

[The  following  amusing  scene  occurs  in  the  earlier  portion  of  Manzoni's 
novel.  Don  Abbondio,  a  cowardly  village  curate,  has  been  warned  by  Don 
Rodrigo,  his  lord  of  the  manor,  that  if  he  dares  to  unite  in  marriage  two 
young  peasants,  Renzo  and  Lucia  (the  « betrothed »  of  the  story),  vengeance 
will  follow.  The  priest  accordingly  shirks  his  duty;  and  cruelly  refusing  to 
set  any  marriage  date,  shuts  himself  up  in  his  house  and  even  barricades  him- 
self against  Renzo's  entreaties.  Donna  Agnese,  the  mother  of  Lucia,  hears 
that  if  a  betrothed  pair  can  but  reach  the  presence  of  their  parish  priest  and 


ALESSANDRO   MANZONI  9675 

announce  that  they  take  each  other  as  man  and  wife,  the  marriage  is  as  bind- 
ing as  if  celebrated  with  all  formality.  Accordingly  Agnese  devises  a  sort  of 
attack  on  the  priest  by  stratagem,  to  be  managed  by  the  parties  to  the  con- 
tract and  two  witnesses  (the  brothers  Tonio  and  Gervase) ;  which  device  is  con- 
siderably endangered  by  the  wariness  of  the  curate's  housekeeper,  Perpetua.] 

IN  FRONT  of  Don  Abbondio's  door,  a  narrow  street  ran  between 
two  cottages;  but  only  continued  straight  the  length  of  the 

buildings,  and  then  turned  into  the  fields.  Agnese  went  for- 
ward along  this  street,  as  if  she  would  go  a  little  aside  to  speak 
more  freely,  and  Perpetua  followed.  When  they  had  turned  the 
corner,  and  reached  a  spot  whence  they  could  no  longer  see  what 
happened  before  Don  Abbondio's  house,  Agnese  coughed  Icudly. 
This  was  the  signal;  Renzo  heard  it,  and  re-animating  Lucia 
by  pressing  her  arm,  they  turned  the  corner  together  on  tiptoe, 
crept  very  softly  close  along  the  wall,  reached  the  door,  and 
gently  pushed  it  open :  quiet,  and  stooping  low,  they  were  quickly 
in  the  passage;  and  here  the  two  brothers  were  waiting  for  them. 
Renzo  very  gently  let  down  the  latch  of  the  door,  and  they  all 
four  ascended  the  stairs,  making  scarcely  noise  enough  for  two. 
On  reaching  the  landing,  the  two  brothers  advanced  towards 
the  door  of  the  room  at  the  side  of  the  staircase,  and  the  lovers 
stood  close  against  the  wall. 

^Deo  gratias*  said  Tonio  in  an  explanatory  tone. 

(<  Eh,  Tonio !   is  it  you  ?      Come  in ! })  replied  the  voice  within. 

Tonio  opened  the  door,  scarcely  wide  enough  to  admit  himself 
and  his  brother  one  at  a  time.  The  ray  of  light  that  suddenly 
shone  through  the  opening  and  crossed  the  dark  floor  of  the 
landing  made  Lucia  tremble,  as  if  she  were  discovered.  When 
the  brothers  had  entered,  Tonio  closed  the  door  inside:  the  lov- 
ers stood  motionless  in  the  dark,  their  ears  intently  on  the  alert, 
and  holding  their  breath;  the  loudest  noise  was  the  beating  of 
poor  Lucia's  heart. 

Don  Abbondio  was  seated,  as  we  have  said,  in  an  old  arm- 
chair, enveloped  in  an  antiquated  dressing-gown,  and  his  head 
buried  in  a  shabby  cap  of  the  shape  of  a  tiara,  which  by  the 
faint  light  of  a  small  lamp  formed  a  sort  of  cornice  all  around 
his  face.  Two  thick  locks  which  escaped  from  beneath  his  head- 
dress, two  thick  eyebrows,  two  thick  mustachios,  and  a  thick  tuft 
on  the  chin,  all  of  them  gray  and  scattered  over  his  dark  and 
wrinkled  visage,  might  be  compared  to  bushes  covered  with  snow, 
projecting  from  the  face  of  a  cliff,  as  seen  by  moonlight. 


9676 


ALESSANDRO   MANZONI 


"Aha!"  was  his  salutation,  as  he  took  off  his  spectacles  and 
laid  them  on  his  book. 

(<  The  Signer  Curate  will  say  I  am  come  very  late, "  said  Tonio 
with  a  low  bow,  which  Gervase  awkwardly  imitated. 

(<  Certainly,  it  is  late  —  late  every  way.  Don't  you  know  I 
am  ill?» 

(<I'm  very  sorry  for  it." 

<(You  must  have  heard  I  was  ill,  and  didn't  know  when  I 
should  be  able  to  see  anybody.  .  .  .  But  why  have  you 
brought  this  —  this  boy  with  you  ? " 

"For  company,  Signor  Curate." 

<(Very  well,  let  us  see." 

<(Here  are  twenty- five  new  berlinghe,  with  the  figure  of  Saint 
Ambrose  on  horseback,"  said  Tonio,  drawing  a  little  parcel  out 
of  his  pocket. 

"  Let  us  see, "  said  Don  Abbondio ;  and  he  took  the  parcel,  put 
on  his  spectacles  again,  opened  it,  took  out  the  berlinghe,  turned 
them  over  and  over,  counted  them,  and  found  them  irreprehen- 
sible. 

"Now,   Signor  Curate,  you  will  give  me  Tecla's  necklace." 

"  You  are  right, "  replied  Don  Abbondio ;  and  going  to  a 
cupboard,  he  took  out  a  key,  looking  around  as  if  to  see  that  all 
prying  spectators  were  at  a  proper  distance,  opened  one  of  the 
doors,  and  filling  up  the  aperture  with  his  person,  introduced  his 
head  to  see  and  his  arm  to  reach  the  pledge;  then  drawing  it 
out,  he  shut  the  cupboard,  unwrapped  the  paper,  and  saying, 
"  Is  that  right  ? "  folded  it  up  again  and  handed  it  to  Tonio. 

C(  Now, "  said  Tonio,  (( will  you  please  to  put  it  in  black  and 
white  ? " 

(( Not  satisfied  yet ! "  said  Don  Abbondio.  <(  I  declare  they 
know  everything.  Eh !  how  suspicious  the  world  has  become ! 
Don't  you  trust  me  ? " 

"What,  Signor  Curate!  Don't  I  trust  you?  You  do  me 
wrong.  But  as  my  name  is  in  your  black  books,  on  the  debtor's 
side —  Then,  since  you  have  had  the  trouble  of  writing  once, 
so —  From  life  to  death — " 

"Well,  well,"  interrupted  Don  Abbondio;  and  muttering  be- 
tween his  teeth,  he  drew  out  one  of  the  table  drawers,  took  thence 
pen,  ink,  and  paper,  and  began  to  write,  repeating  the  words 
aloud  as  they  proceeded  from  his  pen.  In  the  mean  time  Tonio, 
and  at  his  side  Gervase,  placed  themselves  standing  before  the 


ALESSANDRO  MANZONI  9677 

table  in  such  a  manner  as  to  conceal  the  door  from  the  view  of 
the  writer,  and  began  to  shuffle  their  feet  about  on  the  floor,  as 
if  in  mere  idleness,  but  in  reality  as  a  signal  to  those  without 
to  enter,  and  at  the  same  time  to  drown  the  noise  of  their  foot- 
steps. Don  Abbondio,  intent  upon  his  writing,  noticed  nothing 
else.  At  the  noise  of  their  feet,  Renzo  took  Lucia's  arm,  pressing 
it  in  an  encouraging  manner,  and  went  forward,  almost  dragging 
her  along;  for  she  trembled  to  such  a  degree  that  without  his 
help  she  must  have  sunk  to  the  ground.  Entering  very  softly, 
on  tiptoe,  and  holding  their  breath,  they  placed  themselves  be- 
hind the  two  brothers.  In  the  mean  time,  Don  Abbondio,  having 
finished  writing,  read  over  the  paper  attentively,  without  raising 
his  eyes;  he  then  folded  it  up,  saying,  ((Are  you  content  now  ? » 
and  taking  off  his  spectacles  with  one  hand,  handed  the  paper  to 
Tonio  with  the  other,  and  looked  up.  Tonio,  extending  his  right 
hand  to  receive  it,  retired  on  one  side,  and  Gervase,  at  a  sign 
from  him,  on  the  other;  and  behold!  as  at  the  shifting  of  a  scene, 
Renzo  and  Lucia  stood  between  them.  Don  Abbondio  saw  indis- 
tinctly—  saw  clearly  —  was  terrified,  astonished,  enraged,  buried  in 
thought,  came  to  a  resolution;  and  all  this  while  Renzo  uttered 
the  words,  (( Signor  Curate,  in  the  presence  of  these  witnesses, 
this  is  my  wife."  Before,  however,  Lucia's  lips  could  form  the 
reply,  Don  Abbondio  dropped  the  receipt,  seized  the  lamp  with 
his  left  hand  and  raised  it  in  the  air,  caught  hold  of  the  cloth 
with  his  right,  and  dragged  it  furiously  off  the  table,  bringing 
to  the  ground  in  its  fall,  book,  paper,  inkstand,  and  sand-box; 
and  springing  between  the  chair  and  the  table,  advanced  towards 
Lucia.  The  poor  girl,  with  her  sweet  gentle  voice,  trembling 
violently,  had  scarcely  uttered  the  words,  <(And  this — w  when 
Don  Abbondio  threw  the  cloth  rudely  over  her  head  and  face,  to 
prevent  her  pronouncing  the  entire  formula.  Then,  letting  the 
light  fall  from  his  other  hand,  he  employed  both  to  wrap  the 
cloth  round  her  face,  till  she  was  well-nigh  smothered,  shouting 
in  the  mean  while,  at  the  stretch  of  his  voice,  like  a  wounded 
bull,  (<  Perpetual  Perpetual  —  treachery!  —  help!"  The  light,  just 
glimmering  on  the  ground,  threw  a  dim  and  flickering  ray  upon 
Lucia,  who,  in  utter  consternation,  made  no  attempt  to  disengage 
herself,  and  might  be  compared  to  a  statue  sculptured  in  chalk, 
over  which  the  artificer  had  thrown  a  wet  cloth.  When  the  light 
died  away,  Don  Abbondio  quitted  the  poor  girl,  and  went  grop- 
ing about  to  find  the  door  that  opened  into  an  inner  room:  and 


9678 


ALESSANDRO   MANZONI 


having  reached  it,  he  entered  and  shut  himself  in,  unceasingly 
exclaiming,  (<  Perpetua !  treachery !  help !  Out  of  the  house !  Out 
of  the  house ! }) 

In  the  other  room  all  was  confusion:  Renzo,  seeking  to  lay 
hold  of  the  Curate,  and  feeling  with  his  hands,  as  if  playing  at 
blindman's  buff,  had  reached  the  door,  and  kicking  against  it, 
was  crying,  "Open,  open;  don't  make  such  a  noise !})  Lucia, 
calling  to  Renzo  in  a  feeble  voice,  said  beseechingly,  <(  Let  us  go, 
let  us  go,  for  God's  sakeo"  Tonio  was  crawling  on  his  knees, 
and  feeling  with  his  hands  on  the  ground  to  recover  his  lost 
receipt.  The  terrified  Gervase  was  crying  and  jumping  about, 
and  seeking  for  the  door  of  the  stairs,  so  as  to  make  his  escape 
in  safety. 

In  the  midst  of  this  uproar,  we  cannot  but  stop  a  moment  to 
make  a  reflection.  Renzo,  who  was  causing  disturbance  at  night 
in  another  person's  house,  who  had  effected  an  entrance  by 
stealth,  and  who  had  blockaded  the  master  himself  in  one  of  his 
own  rooms,  has  all  the  appearance  of  an  oppressor;  while  in  fact 
he  was  the  oppressed.  Don  Abbondio,  taken  by  surprise,  terrified 
and  put  to  flight,  while  peaceably  engaged  in  his  own  affairs, 
appears  the  victim;  when  in  reality  it  was  he  who  did  the  wrong. 
Thus  frequently  goes  the  world;  —  or  rather,  we  should  say,  thus 
it  went  in  the  seventeenth  century. 

The  besieged,  finding  that  the  enemy  gave  no  signs  of  aban- 
doning the  enterprise,  opened  a  window  that  looked  into  the 
church-yard,  and  shouted  out,  ((  Help !  help ! >}  There  was  a  most 
lovely  moon;  the  shadow  of  the  church,  and  a  little  farther  on 
the  long  sharp  shadow  of  the  bell-tower,  lay  dark,  still,  and  well 
defined,  on  the  bright  grassy  level  of  the  sacred  inclosure:  all 
objects  were  visible,  almost  as  by  day.  But  look  which  way  you 
would,  there  appeared  no  sign  of  living  person.  Adjoining  the 
lateral  wall  of  the  church,  on  the  side  next  the  parsonage,  was  a 
small  dwelling  where  the  sexton  slept  Aroused  by  this  unusual 
cry,  he  sprang  up  in  his  bed,  jumped  out  in  great  haste,  threw 
open  the  sa'sh  of  his  little  window,  put  his  head  out  with  his 
eyelids  glued  together  all  the  while,  and  cried  out,  (<  What's  the 
matter  ? » 

tt  Run,  Ambrogio  I  help !  people  in  the  house  i )}  answered  Don 
Abbondio.  a  Coming  directly, >J  replied  he?  as  he  drew  in  his 
head  and  shut  the  window;  and  although  half  asleep  and  more 
than  half  terrified,  an  expedient  quickly  occurred  to  him  that 


ALESSANDRO  MANZONI  9679 

would  bring  more  aid  than  had  been  asked,  without  dragging  him 
into  the  affray,  whatever  it  might  be.  Seizing  his  breeches  that 
lay  upon  the  bed,  he  tucked  them  under  his  arm  like  a  gala  hat, 
and  bounding  down-stairs  by  a  little  wooden  ladder,  ran  to  the 
belfry,  caught  hold  of  the  rope  that  was  attached  to  the  larger 
of  the  two  bells,  and  pulled  vigorously. 

Ton,  ton,  ton,  ton:  the  peasant  sprang  up  in  his  bed;  the 
boy  stretched  in  the  hay-loft  listened  eagerly,  and  leapt  upon 
his  feet  «  What's  the  matter?  what's  the  matter?  The  bell  's 
ringing!  Fire?  Thieves?  Banditti?"  Many  of  the  women 
advised,  begged,  their  husbands  not  to  stir  —  to  let  others  run; 
some  got  up  and  went  to  the  window;  those  who  were  cowards, 
as  if  yielding  to  entreaty,  quietly  slipped  under  the  bedclothes 
again;  while  the  more  inquisitive  and  courageous  sprang  up  and 
armed  themselves  with  pitchforks  and  pistols,  to  run  to  the  up- 
roar; others  waited  to  see  the  end.  .  .  . 

Renzo,  who  had  more  of  his  senses  about  him  than  the  rest, 
remembered  that  they  had  better  make  their  escape  one  way 
or  another  before  the  crowds  assembled;  and  that  the  best  plan 
would  be  to  do  as  Menico  advised, — nay,  commanded,  with  the 
authority  of  one  in  terror.  When  once  on  their  way,  and  out  of 
the  tumult  and  danger,  he  could  ask  a  clearer  explanation  from 
the  boy.  (<  Lead  the  way,"  said  he  to  Menico;  and  addressing 
the  women,  said,  <(  Let  us  go  with  him."  They  therefore  quickly 
turned  their  steps  towards  the  church,  crossed  the  church -yard, 
• — where,  by  the  favor  of  Heaven,  there  was  not  yet  a  living 
creature, —  entered  a  little  street  that  ran  between  the  church 
and  Don  Abbondio's  house,  turned  into  the  first  alley  they  came 
to,  and  then  took  the  way  of  the  fields. 

They  had  not  perhaps  gone  fifty  yards,  when  the  crowd 
began  to  collect  in  the  church-yard,  and  rapidly  increased  every 
moment.  They  looked  inquiringly  in  each  other's  faces;  every 
one  had  a  question  to  ask,  but  no  one  could  return  an  answer. 
Those  who  arrived  first  ran  to  the  church  door:  it  was  locked. 
They  then  ran  to  the  belfry  outside;  and  one  of  them,  putting 
his  mouth  to  a  very  small  window,  a  sort  of  loophole,  cried, 
(<  What  ever  is  the  matter  ? "  As  soon  as  Ambrogio  recognized  a 
known  voice,  he  let  go  of  the  bell-rope,  and  being  assured  by 
the  buzz  that  many  people  had  assembled,  replied,  (( I'll  open 
the  door."  Hastily  slipping  on  the  apparel  he  had  carried  undet 
his  arm,  he  went  inside  the  church  and  opened  the  door. 


9680 


ALESSANDRO  MANZONI 


«What  is  all  this  hubbub?  — What  is  it?  — Where  is  it?— 
Who  is  it?» 

<(  Why,  who  is  it  ? "  said  Ambrogio,  laying1  one  hand  on  the 
door-post,  and  with  the  other  holding  up  the  habiliment  he  had 
put  on  in  such  haste:  <(What!  don't  you  know?  People  in  the 
Signor  Curate's  house.  Up,  boys;  help!"  Hearing  this,  they  all 
turned  to  the  house,  looked  up,  approached  it  in  a  body,  looked 
up  again,  listened:  all  was  quiet.  Some  ran  to  the  street  door; 
it  was  shut  and  bolted:  they  glanced  upwards;  not  a  window  was 
open,  not  a  whisper  was  to  be  heard. 

(<  Who  is  within  ?  —  Ho !  Hey !  —  Signor  Curate !  —  Signor 
Curate !» 

Don  Abbondio,  who,  scarcely  aware  of  the  flight  of  the  in- 
vaders, had  retired  from  the  window  and  closed  it,  and  who  at 
this  moment  was  reproaching  Perpetua  in  a  low  voice  for  having 
left  him  alone  in  this  confusion,  was  obliged,  when  he  heard  him- 
self called  upon  by  the  voice  of  the  assembled  people,  to  show 
himself  again  at  the  window;  and  when  he  saw  the  crowds  that 
had  come  to  his  aid,  he  sorely  repented  having  called  them. 

<(  What  has  happened  ?  —  What  have  they  done  to  you  ? —  Who 
are  they?  — Where  are  they?"  burst  forth  from  fifty  voices  at 
once. 

(< There's  nobody  here  now:  thank  you;  go  home  again." 

(<  But  who  has  been  here  ?  —  Where  are  they  gone  ?  —  What 
has  happened  ? " 

<(  Bad  people,  people  who  go  about  by  night ;  but  they're  gone : 
go  home  again;  there  is  no  longer  anything;  another  time,  my 
children:  I  thank  you  for  your  kindness  to  me."  So  saying,  he 
drew  back  and  shut  the  window.  Some  of  the  crowd  began  to 
grumble,  some  to  joke,  others  to  curse;  some  shrugged  their 
shoulders  and  took  their  departure.  . 

The  melancholy  trio  continued  their  walk,  the  women  taking 
the  lead  and  Renzo  behind  to  act  as  guard.  Lucia  clung  closely 
to  her  mother's  arm,  kindly  and  dexterously  avoiding  the  prof- 
fered assistance  of  the  youth  at  the  difficult  passes  of  this  unfre- 
quented path;  feeling  ashamed  of  herself,  even  in  such  troubles, 
for  having  already  been  so  long  and  so  familiarly  alone  with 
him,  while  expecting  in  a  few  moments  to  be  his  wife.  Now 
that  this  vision  had  been  so  sorrowfully  dispelled,  she  repented 
having  proceeded  thus  far;  and  amidst  so  many  causes  of  fear, 
she  feared  even  for  her  modesty; — not  such  modesty  as  arises 


ALESSANDRO   MANZONI  968l 

from  the  sad  knowledge  of  evil,  but  for  that  which  is  ignorant 
of  its  own  existence;  like  the  dread  of  a  child  who  trembles  in 
the  dark,  he  knows  not  why. 

"And  the  house  ? w  suddenly  exclaimed  Agnese.  But  however 
important  the  object  might  be  which  extorted  this  exclamation, 
no  one  replied,  because  no  one  could  do  so  satisfactorily.  They 
therefore  continued  their  walk  in  silence,  and  in  a  little  while 
reached  the  square  before  the  church  of  the  convent. 

Renzo  advanced  to  the  door  of  the  church,  and  gently'  pushed 
it  open.  The  moon  that  entered  through  the  aperture  fell  upon 
the  pale  face  and  silvery  beard  of  Father  Cristoforo,  who  was 
standing  here  expecting  them;  and  having  seen  that  no  one 
was  missing,  <(  God  be  praised ! >}  said  he,  beckoning  to  them  to 
enter.  By  his  side  stood  another  Capuchin,  the  lay  sexton,  whom 
he  had  persuaded  by  prayers  and  arguments  to  keep  vigil  with 
him,  to  leave  the  door  ajar,  and  to  remain  there  on  guttrd  to 
receive  these  poor  threatened  creatures;  and  it  required  nothing 
short  of  the  authority  of  the  Father,  and  of  his  fame  as  a  saint, 
to  persuade  the  layman  to  so  inconvenient,  perilous,  and  irregu- 
lar a  condescension.  When  they  were  inside,  Father  Cristoforo 
very  softly  shut  the  door.  Then  the  sexton  could  no  longer  con- 
tain himself,  and  taking  the  Father  aside,  whispered  in  his  ear. 
<(  But,  Father,  Father !  at  night  —  in  church  —  with  women  —  shut 
—  the  rule  —  but,  Father !  w  And  he  shook  his  head,  while  thus 
hesitatingly  pronouncing  these  words.  Just  see!  thought  Father 
Cristoforo:  if  it  were  a  pursued  robber,  Friar  Fazio  would  make 
no  difficulty  in  the  world;  but  a  poor  innocent  escaping  from 
the  jaws  of  a  wolf —  ^Omnia  munda  mundis**  added  he,  turn- 
ing suddenly  to  Friar  Fazio,  and  forgetting  that  he  did  not  under- 
stand Latin.  But  this  forgetfulness  was  exactly  what  produced 
the  right  effect.  If  the  Father  had  begun  to  dispute  and  reason, 
Friar  Fazio  would  not  have  failed  to  urge  opposing  arguments, 
and  no  one  knows  how  and  when  the  discussion  would  have  come 
to  an  end;  but  at  the  sound  of  these  weighty  words  of  a  mys- 
terious signification,  and  so  resolutely  uttered,  it  seemed  to  him 
that  in  them  must  be  contained  the  solution  of  all  his  doubts. 
He  acquiesced,  saying,  <(Very  well:  you  know  more  about  it  than 
1  do.» 

*Or  in  reverse,  <(To  the  pure  all  things  are  pure.» 


9682 


ALESSANDRO   MANZONI 


<( Trust  me,  then,"  replied  Father  Cristoforo;  ana  by  the 
dim  light  of  the  lamp  burning  before  the  altar,  he  approached 
the  refugees,  who  stood  waiting  in  suspense,  and  said  to  them, 
(<  My  children,  thank  God,  who  has  delivered  you  from  so  great 
a  danger!  Perhaps  at  this  moment — M  And  here  he  began  to 
explain  more  fully  what  he  had  hinted  by  the  little  messen- 
ger; little  suspecting  that  they  knew  more  than  he,  and  sup- 
posing that  Menico  had  found  them  quiet  in  their  own  house, 
before  the  arrival  of  the  ruffians.  Nobody  undeceived  him,— 
not  even  Lucia,  whose  conscience,  however,  was  all  the  while 
secretly  reproaching  her  for  practicing  such  dissimulation  with  so 
good  a  man;  but  it  was  a  night  of  embarrassment  and  dissimula- 
tion. 

(( After  this, }>  continued  he,  <(  you  must  feel,  my  children,  that 
the  village  is  no  longer  safe  for  you.  It  is  yours,  who  were 
born  there,  and  you  have  done  no  wrong  to  any  one;  but  God 
wills  it  so.  It  is  a  trial,  my  children;  bear  it  with  patience  and 
faith,  without  indulging  in  rancor,  and  rest  assured  there  will 
come  a  day  when  you  will  think  yourselves  happy  that  this  has 
occurred.  I  have  thought  of  a  refuge  for  you,  for  the  present. 
Soon,  I  hope,  you  may  be  able  to  return  in  safety  to  your  own 
house;  at  any  rate;  God  will  provide  what  is  best  for  you;  and  I 
assure  you,  I  will  be  careful  not  to  prove  unworthy  of  the  favor 
he  has  bestowed  upon  me,  in  choosing  me  as  his  minister,  in 
the  service  of  you  his  poor  yet  loved  afflicted  ones.  You,)}  con- 
tinued he,  turning  to  the  two  women,  <(  can  stay  at  .  Here 

you  will  be  far  enough  from  every  danger,  and  at  the  same 
time  not  far  from  your  own  home.  There  seek  out  our  con- 
vent, ask  for  the  guardian,  and  give  him  this  letter:  he  will  be 
to  you  another  Father  Cristoforo.  And  you,  my  Renzo,  must 
put  yourself  in  safety  from  the  anger  of  others,  and  your  own. 
Carry  this  letter  to  Father  Bonaventura  da  Lodi,  in  our  convent 
of  the  Porta  Orientale,  at  Milan.  He  will  be  a  father  to  you, 
will  give  you  directions  and  find  you  work,  till  you  can  return 
and  live  more  peaceably.  Go  to  the  shore  of  the  lake,  near 
the  mouth  of  the  Bione,  a  river  not  far  from  this  monastery. 
Here  you  will  see  a  boat  waiting ;  say,  (  Boat ! >  It  will  be  asked 
you,  (  For  whom  ? >  And  you  must  reply,  (  San  Francesco.  }  The 
boat  will  receive^you  and  carry  you  to  the  other  side,  where  you 
will  find  a  cart  that  will  take  you  straight  to .* 


ALESSANDRO  MANZONI 


9683 


If  any  one  asks  how  Father  Cristoforo  had  so  quickly  at  his 
disposal  these  means  of  transport  by  land  and  water,  it  will  show 
that  he  does  not  know  the  influence  and  power  of  a  Capuchin 
held  in  reputation  as  a  saint. 

It  still  remained  to  decide  about  the  care  of  the  houses. 
The  Father  received  the  keys,  pledging  himself  to  deliver  them 
to  whomsoever  Renzo  and  Agnese  should  name.  The  latter,  in 
delivering  up  hers,  heaved  a  deep  sigh,  remembering  that  at  that 
moment  the  house  was  open,  that  the  devil  had  been  there,  and 
who  knew  what  remained  to  be  taken  care  of  ! 

(<  Before  you  go,"  said  the  Father,  <(  let  us  pray  all  together 
that  the  Lord  may  be  with  you  in  this  your  'journey,  and  for 
ever;  and  above  all,  that  he  may  give  you  strength  and  a  spirit 
of  love,  to  enable  you  to  desire  whatever  he  has  willed. })  So 
saying,  he  knelt  down  in  the  middle  of  the  church,  and  they  all 
followed  his  example. 

After  praying  a  few  moments  in  silence,  with  a  low  but  dis- 
tinct voice  he  pronounced  these  words :  — <(  We  beseech  thee  also 
for  the  unhappy  person  who  has  brought  us  to  this  state.  We 
should  be  unworthy  of  thy  mercy  if  we  did  not  from  our  hearts 
implore  it  for  him;  he  needs  it,  O  Lord!  We,  in  our  sorrow, 
have  this  consolation,  that  we  are  in  the  path  where  thou  hast 
placed  us;  we  can  offer  thee  our  griefs  and  they  may  become 
our  gain.  But  he  is  thine  enemy!  Alas,  wretched  man,  he  is 
striving  with  thee !  Have  mercy  on  him,  O  Lord,  touch  his  heart ; 
reconcile  him  to  thyself,  and  give  him  all  those  good  things  we 
could  desire  for  ourselves." 

Rising  then  in  haste,  he  said,  <(  Come,  my  children,  you  have 
no  time  to  lose:  God  defend  you;  his  angel  go  with  you;  — 
farewell ! "  And  while  they  set  off  with  that  emotion  which 
cannot  find  words,  and  manifests  itself  without  them,  the  Father 
added  in  an  agitated  tone,  <(  My  heart  tells  me  we  shall  meet 
again  soon." 

Certainly  the  heart,  to  those  who  listen  to  it,  has  always  some- 
thing to  say  on  what  will  happen;  but  what  did  his  heart  know? 
Very  little,  truly,  of  what  had  already  happened. 

Without  waiting  a  reply,  Father  Cristoforo  retired  with  hasty 
steps;  the  travelers  took  their  departure,  and  Father  Fazio  shut 
the  door  after  them,  bidding  them  farewell  with  even  his  voice  a 
little  faltering. 


9684 


ALESSANDRO  MANZONI 


The  trio  slowly  made  their  way  to  the  shore  they  had  been 
directed  to;  there  they  espied  the  boat,  and  exchanging  the  pass- 
word, stepped  in.  The  waterman,  planting  one  oar  on  the  land, 
pushed  off;  then  took  up  the  other  oar,  and  rowing  with  both 
hands,  pulled  out  and  made  towards  the  opposite  beach.  Not  a 
breath  of  wind  was  stirring;  the  lake  lay  bright  and  smooth,  and 
would  have  appeared  motionless  but  for  the  tremulous  and  gen- 
tle undulation  of  the  moonbeams,  which  gleamed  upon  it  from 
the  zenith.  No  sounds  were  heard  but  the  muffled  and  slowly 
measured  breaking  of  the  surge  upon  the  pebbly  shore,  the  more 
distant  gurgling  of  the  troubled  waters  dashing  among  the  .piles 
of  the  bridge,  arid  the  even  plash  of  the  light  sculls,  as,  rising 
with  the  sharp  sound  of  a  dripping  blade,  and  quickly  plunged 
again  beneath,  they  cut  the  azure  surface  of  the  lake.  The 
waves,  divided  by  the  prow,  and  reuniting  behind  the  little  bark, 
tracked  out  a  curling  line  which  extended  itself  to  the  shore.  The 
silent  travelers,  with  their  faces  turned  backwards,  gazed  upon 
the  mountains  and  the  country,  illumined  by  the  pale  light  of 
the  moon,  and  diversified  here  and  there  with  vast  shadows. 
They  could  distinguish  the  villages,  the  houses,  and  the  little 
cabins:  the  palace  of  Don  Rodrigo,  with  its  square  tower,  rising 
above  the  group  of  huts  at  the  base  of  the  promontory,  looked 
like  a  savage  standing  in  the  dark  and  meditating  some  evil 
deed  while  keeping  guard  over  a  company  of  reclining  sleepers. 
Lucia  saw  it  and  shuddered;  then  drawing  her  eye  along  the 
declivity  till  she  reached  her  native  village,  she  fixed  her  gaze  on 
its  extremity,  sought  for  her  own  cottage,  traced  out  the  thick 
head  of  the  fig-tree  which  towered  above  the  wall  of  the  court- 
yard, discovered  the  window  of  her  own  room, — and  being  seated 
in  the  bottom  of  the  boat,  'she  leaned  her  elbow  on  the  edge, 
laid  her  forehead  on  her  arm  as  if  she  were  sleeping,  and  wept 
in  secret. 

Farewell,  ye  mountains,  rising  from  the  waters  and  pointing 
to  the  heavens!  ye  varied  summits,  familiar  to  him  who  has  been 
brought  up  among  you,  and  impressed  upon  his  mind  as  clearly 
as  the  countenance  of  his  dearest  friends!  ye  torrents,  whose 
murmur  he  recognizes  like  the  sound  of  the  voices  of  home!  ye 
villages,  scattered  and  glistening  on  the  declivity,  like  flocks  of 
grazing  sheep!  Farewell!  How  mournful  is  the  step  of  him 
who,  brought  up  amidst  your  scenes,  is  compelled  to  leave  you' 


ALESSANDRO  MANZONI  9685 

Even  in  the  imagination  of  one  who  willingly  departs,  attracted  by 
the  hope  of  making  a  fortune  elsewhere,  the  dreams  of  wealth  at 
this  moment  lose  their  charms ;  he  wonders  he  could  form  such  a 
resolution,  and  would  even  now  turn  back  but  for  the  hope  of 
one  day  returning  with  a  rich  abundance.  As  he  advances  into 
the  plain,  his  eye  becomes  wearied  with  its  uniform  extent;  the 
atmosphere  feels  heavy  and  lifeless;  he  sadly  and  listlessly  enters 
the  busy  cities,  where  houses  crowded  upon  houses,  and  streets 
intersecting  streets,  seem  to  take  away  his  breath;  and  before 
edifices  admired  by  the  stranger,  he  recalls  with  restless  longing 
the  fields  of  his  own  country,  and  the  cottage  he  had  long  ago 
set  his  heart  upon,  and  which  he  resolves  to  purchase  when  he 
returns  enriched  to  his  own  mountains. 

But  what  must  he  feel  who  has  never  sent  a  passing  wish 
beyond  these  mountains,  who  has  arranged  among  them  all  his 
designs  for  the  future,  and  is  driven  far  away  by  an  adverse 
power!  who,  suddenly  snatched  away  from  his  dearest  habits,  and 
thwarted  in  his  dearest  hopes,  leaves  these  mountains  to  go  in 
search  of  strangers  whom  he  never  desired  to  know,  and  is  un- 
able to  look  forward  to  a  fixed  time  of  return! 

Farewell,  native  cottage  —  where,  indulging  in  unconscious 
fancy,  one  learnt  to  distinguish  from  the  noise  of  common  foot- 
steps the  approach  of  a  tread  expected  with  mysterious  timid- 
ity! Farewell,  thou  cottage, —  still  a  stranger,  but  so  often  hastily 
glanced  at,  not  without  a  blush,  in  passing  —  in  which  the  mind 
took  delight  to  figure  to  itself  the  tranquil  and  lasting  home 
of  a  wife !  Farewell,  my  church,  where  the  heart  was  so  often 
soothed  while  chanting  the  praises  of  the  Lord;  where  the  pre- 
paratory rite  of  betrothal  was  performed;  where  the  secret  sigh- 
ing of  the  heart  was  solemnly  blessed,  and  love  was  inspired, 
and  one  felt  a  hallowing  influence  around.  Farewell!  He  who 
imparted  to  you  such  gladness  is  everywhere ;  and  he  never  dis- 
turbs the  joy  of  his  children  but  to  prepare  them  for  one  more 
certain  and  durable. 

Of  such  a  nature,  if  not  exactly  these,  were  the  reflections  of 
Lucia;  and  not  very  dissimilar  were  those  of  the  two  other  wan- 
derers, while  the  little  bark  rapidly  approached  the  right  bank  of 
the  Adda. 


9686  ALESSANDRO  MANZONI 

A  LATE   REPENTANCE 
From  <The  Betrothed  > 

[In  several  chapters  preceding  the  following  affecting  extract  from  Man- 
zoni's  story  is  described  the  imprisonment  of  Lucia  Mondella,  the  heroine  of 
the  tale,  in  the  lonely  castle  of  an  outlaw.  The  latter  is  a  man  of  rank;  but 
guilty  of  such  a  succession  of  murders,  robberies,  and  other  villainies,'  during 
many  years,  that  he  —  in  the  story  he  is  called  only  <The  Unnamed* —  has 
become  a  terror  throughout  all  the  country-side.  A  sudden  repentance  and 
remorse  comes  to  this  monster  of  wickedness.  Hearing  that  the  great  Cardi- 
nal Federigo  Borromeo  of  Milan  is  arrived  in  the  neighborhood,  he  decides,  in 
great  hesitation  and  contrition,  to  visit  that  kindly  and  courageous  priest.] 

CARDINAL  FEDERIGO  was  employed  —  according  to  his  usual 
custom  in  every  leisure  interval  —  in  study,  until  the  hour 
arrived  for  repairing-  to  the  church  for  the  celebration  of 
Divine  service;  when  the  chaplain  and  cross-bearer  entered  with 
a  disturbed  and  gloomy  countenance. 

<(A  strange  visitor,  my  noble  lord  —  strange  indeed!" 

«Who?»  asked  the  Cardinal. 

tt  No  less  a  personage  than  the  Signer , )J  replied  the  chap- 
lain; and  pronouncing  the  syllables  with  a  very  significant  tone, 
he  uttered  the  name  which  we  cannot  give  to  our  readers.  He 
then  added,  (<  He  is  here  outside  in  person,  and  demands  noth- 
ing less  than  to  be  introduced  to  your  illustrious  Grace. >} 

"He!"  said  the  Cardinal  with  an  animated  look,  shutting  his 
book  and  rising  from  his  seat :  (<  let  him  come  in !  —  let  him 
come  in  directly ! w 

(<  But  — J>  rejoined  the  chaplain,  without  attempting  to  move, 
"your  illustrious  Lordship  must  surely  be  aware  who  he  is:  that 
outlaw,  that  famous — >J 

<(And  is  it  not  a  most  happy  circumstance  for  a  bishop,  that 
such  a  man  should  feel  a  wish  to  come  and  seek  an  interview 
with  him  ? » 

<(But — w  insisted  the  chaplain,  (<  we  may  never  speak  of  cer- 
tain things,  because  my  lord  says  it  is  all  nonsense :  but  when 
it  comes  to  the  point,  I  think  it  is  a  duty —  Zeal  makes  many 
enemies,  my  lord;  and  we  know  positively  that  more  than  one 
ruffian  has  dared  to  boast  that  some  day  or  other — w 

<(And  what  have  they  done  ? })  interrupted  the  Cardinal. 

<(  I  say  that  this  man  is  a  plotter  of  mischief,  a  desperate 
character,  who  holds  correspondence  with  the  most  violent  des- 
peradoes, and  who  may  be  sent — w 


ALESSANDRO  MANZONI  9687 

<(Oh,  what  discipline  is  this,"  again  interrupted  Federigo,  smil- 
ing, "for  the  soldiers  to  exhort  their  general  to  cowardice  ?>} 
Then  resuming  a  grave  and  thoughtful  air,  he  continued :  <(  Saint 
Carlo  would  not  have  deliberated  whether  he  ought  to  receive 
such  a  man:  he  would  have  gone  to  seek  him.  Let  him  be 
admitted  directly:  he  has  already  waited  too  long." 

The  chaplain  moved  towards  the  door,  saying  in  his  heart, 
<(  There's  no  remedy:  these  saints  are  all  obstinate. }> 

Having  opened  the  door  and  surveyed  the  room  where  the 
Signor  and  his  companions  were,  he  saw  that  the  latter  had 
crowded  together  on  one  side,  where  they  sat  whispering  and 
cautiously  peeping  at  their  visitor,  while  he  was  left  alone  in  one 
corner.  The  chaplain  advanced  towards  him,  eying  him  guard- 
edly from  head  to  foot,  and  wondering  what  weapons  he  might 
have  hidden  under  that  great  coat:  thinking  at  the  same  time 
that  really,  before  admitting  him,  he  ought  at  least  to  have  pro- 
posed—  But  he  could  not  resolve  what  to  do.  He  approached 
him,  saying,  (<  His  Grace  waits  for  your  Lordships  Will  you 
be  good  enough  to  come  with  me  ? w  And  as  he  preceded  him 
through  the  little  crowd,  which  instantly  gave  way  for  him,  he 
kept  casting  glances  on  each  side,  which  meant  to  say,  "What 
could  I  do  ?  don't  you  know  yourselves  that  he  always  has  his 
own  way  ? w 

On  reaching  the  apartment,  the  chaplain  opened  the  door  and 
introduced  the  Unnamed.  Federigo  advanced  to  meet  him  with 
a  happy  and  serene  look,  and  his  hand  extended,  as  if  to  wel- 
come an  expected  guest;  at  the  same  time  making  a  sign  to 
the  chaplain  to  go  out,  which  was  immediately  obeyed. 

When  thus  left  alone,  they  both  stood  for  a  moment  silent 
and  in  suspense,  though  from  widely  different  feelings.  The 
Unnamed,  who  had  as  it  were  been  forcibly  carried  there  by  an 
inexplicable  compulsion,  rather  than  led  by  a  determinate  inten- 
tion, now  stood  there,  also  as  it  were  by  compulsion,  torn  by  two 
contending  feelings:  on  the  one  side,  a  desire  and  confused  hope 
of  meeting  with  some  alleviation  of  his  inward  torment;  on 
the  other,  a  feeling  of  self -rebuked  shame  at  having  come  hither, 
like  a  penitent,  subdued  and  wretched,  to  confess  himself  guilty 
and  to  make  supplication  to  a  man:  he  was  at  a  loss  for  words, 
and  indeed  scarcely  sought  for  them.  Raising  his  eyes,  however, 
to  the  Archbishop's  face,  he  became  gradually  filled  with  a  feel- 
ing of  veneration,  authoritative  and  at  the  same  time  soothing; 


9688 


ALESSANDRO  MANZONI 


which,  while  it  increased  his  confidence,  gently  subdued  his 
haughtiness,  and  without  offending  his  pride,  compelled  it  to  give 
way,  and  imposed  silence. 

The  bearing  of  Federigo  was  in  fact  one  which  announced 
superiority,  and  at  the  same  time  excited  love.  It  was  natur- 
ally sedate,  and  almost  involuntarily  commanding,  his  figure  being 
not  in  the  least  bowed  or  wasted  by  age;  while  his  solemn 
yet  sparkling  eye,  his  open  and  thoughtful  forehead,  a  kind  of 
virginal  floridness,  which  might  be  distinguished  even  among 
gray  locks,  paleness,  and  the  traces  of  abstinence,  meditation,  and 
labor:  in  short,  all  his  features  indicated  that  they  had  once 
possessed  that  which  is  most  strictly  entitled  beauty.  The  habit 
of  serious  and  benevolent  thought,  the  inward  peace  of  a  long 
life,  the  love  that  he  felt  towards  his  fellow-creatures,  and  the 
uninterrupted  enjoyment  of  an  ineffable  hope,  had  now  substi- 
tuted the  beauty  (so  to  say)  of  old  age,  which  shone  forth  more 
attractively  from  the  magnificent  simplicity  of  the  purple. 

He  fixed  for  a  moment  on  the  countenance  of  the  Unnamed 
a  penetrating  look,  long  accustomed  to  ,  gather  from  this  index 
what  was  passing  in  the  mind;  and  imagining  he  discovered, 
under  that  dark  and  troubled  mien,  something  every  moment 
more  corresponding  with  the  hope  he  had  conceived  on  the  first 
announcement  of  such  a  visit.  <(  Oh ! >J  cried  he,  in  an  animated 
voice,  "what  a  welcome  visit  is  this!'  and  how  thankful  I  ought 
to  be  to  you  for  taking  such  a  step,  although  it  may  convey  to 
me  a  little  reproof ! }> 

<(  Reproof ! "  exclaimed  the  Signer,  much  surprised,  but  soothed 
by  his  words  and  manner,  and  glad  that  the  Cardinal  had  broken 
the  ice  and  started  some  sort  of  conversation. 

(<  Certainly  it  conveys  to  me  a  reproof, >}  replied  the  Arch- 
bishop, <(for  allowing  you  to  be  beforehand  with  me  when  so 
often,  and  for  so  long  a  time,  I  might  and  ought  to  have  come 
to  you  myself. )} 

<(  You  come  to  me !  Do  you  know  who  I  am  ?  Did  they  de- 
liver my  name  rightly  ? >J 

<(And  the  happiness  I  feel,  and  which  must  surely  be  evi- 
dent in  my  countenance, —  do  you  think  I  should  feel  it  at  the 
announcement  and  visit  of  a  stranger  ?  It  is  you  who  make  me 
experience  it;  you,  I  say,  whom  I  ought  to  have  sought;  you 
whom  I  have  at  least  loved  and  wept  over,  and  for  whom  I 
have  so  often  prayed;  you  among  all  my  children  —  for  each 


ALESSANDRO  MANZONI 


9689 


one  I  love  from  the  bottom  of  my  heart  —  whom  I  should  most 
have  desired  to  receive  and  embrace,  if  I  had  thought  I  might 
hope  for  such  a  thing.  But  God  alone  knows  how  to  work  won- 
ders, and  supplies  the  weakness  and  tardiness  of  his  unworthy 
servants. }> 

The. Unnamed  stood  astonished  at  this  warm  reception,  in  lan- 
guage which  corresponded  so  exactly  with  that  which  he  had  not 
yet  expressed,  nor  indeed  had  fully  determined  to  express;  and, 
affected  but  exceedingly  surprised,  he  remained  silent.  <(  Well ! * 
resumed  Federigo  still  more  affectionately,  <(  you  have  good  news 
to  tell  me ;  and  you  keep  me  so  long  expecting  it  ? " 

"Good  news!  I  have  hell  in  my  heart;  and  can  I  tell  you 
any  good  tidings  ?  Tell  me,  if  you  know,  what  good  news  you 
can  expect  from  such  as  I  am  ? " 

((That  God  has  touched  your  heart  and  would  make  you  his 
own,"  replied  the  Cardinal  calmly. 

«God!  God!  God!  If  I  could  see  him!  If  I  could  hear  him! 
Where  is  this  God  ?  » 

(<  Do  you  ask  this  ?  you  ?  And  who  has  him  nearer  than  you  ? 
Do  you  not  feel  him  in  your  heart,  overcoming,  agitating  you, 
never  leaving  you  at  ease,  and  at  the  same  time  drawing  you  for- 
ward, presenting  to  your  view  a  hope  of  tranquillity  and  conso- 
lation, a  consolation  which  shall  be  full  and  boundless,  as  soon 
as  you  recognize  him,  acknowledge  and  implore  him  ? " 

c<  Oh,  surely !  there  is  something  within  that  oppresses,  that 
consumes  me !  But  God !  If  this  be  Gods  if  he  be  such  as  they 
say,  what  do  you  suppose  he  can  do  with  me?" 

These  words  were  uttered  with  an  accent  of  despair;  but 
Federigo,  with  a  solemn  tone  as  of  calm  inspiration,  replied:  — 
<(  What  can  God  do  with  you  ?  What  would  he  wish  to  make  of 
you  ?  A  token  of  his  power  and  goodness :  he  would  acquire 
through  you  a  glory  such  as  others  could  not  give  him.  The 
world  has  long  cried  out  against  you;  hundreds  and  thousands  of 
voices  have  declared  their  detestation  of  your  deeds."  (The  Un- 
named shuddered,  and  felt  for  a  moment  surprised  at  hearing  such 
unusual  language  addressed  to  him  and  still  more  surprised  that 
he  felt  no  anger,  but  rather  almost  a  relief. )  (<  What  glory, }>  pur- 
sued Federigo/  (<will  thus  redound  to  God!  They  may  be  voices 
of  alarm,  of  self-interest;  of  justice,  perhaps  —  a  justice  so  easy! 
so  natural!  Some  perhaps  —  yea,  too  many  —  may  be  voices 
of  envy  of  your  wretched  power;  of  your  hitherto  deplorable 


9690 


ALESSANDRO  MANZONI 


security  of  heart.  But  when  you  yourself  rise  up  to  condemn 
your  past  life,  to  become  your  own  accuser, —  then,  then  indeed, 
God  will  be  glorified!  And  you  ask  what  God  can  do  with  you. 
Who  am  I,  a  poor  mortal,  that  I  can  tell  you  what  use  such  a 
Being  may  choose  henceforth  to  make  of  you  ?  how  he  can  em- 
ploy your  impetuous  will,  your  unwavering  perseverance,  when  he 
shall  have  animated  and  invigorated  them  with  love,  with  hope, 
with  repentance  ?  Who  are  you,  weak  man,  that  you  should 
imagine  yourself  capable  of  devising  and  executing  greater  deeds 
of  evil,  than  God  can  make  you  will  and  accomplish  in  the  cause 
of  good  ?  What  can  God  do  with  you  ?  Pardon  you !  save  you ! 
finish  in  you  the  work  of  redemption!  Are  not  these  things  noble 
and  worthy  of  him?  Oh,  just  think!  if  I,  a  humble  and  feeble 
creature,  so  worthless  and  full  of  myself  —  I,  such  as  I  am,  long 
so  ardently  for  your  salvation,  that  for  its  sake  I  would  joyfully 
give  (and  he  is  my  witness!)  the  few  days  that  still  remain  to 
me, — oh,  think  what  and  how  great  must  be  the  love  of  Him 
who  inspires  me  with  this  imperfect  but  ardent  affection;  how 
must  He  love  you,  what  must  He  desire  for  you,  who  has  bid 
and  enabled  me  to  regard  you  with  a  charity  that  consumes 
me!» 

While  these  words  fell  from  his  lips,  his  face,  his  expression, 
his  whole  manner,  evinced  his  deep  feeling  of  what  he  uttered. 
The  countenance  of  his  auditor  changed  from  a  wild  and  con- 
vulsive look,  first  to  astonishment  and  attention,  and  then  gradu- 
ally yielded  to  deeper  and  less  painful  emotions;  his  eyes,  which 
from  infancy  had  been  unaccustomed  to  weep,  became  suffused; 
and  when  the  words  ceased,  he  covered  his  face  with  his  hands 
and  burst  into  a  flood  of  tears.  It  was  the  only  and  most  evi' 
dent  reply. 

(<  Great  and  good  God!"  exclaimed  Federigo,  raising  his  hands 
and  eyes  to  heaven,  <(what  have  I  ever  done,  an  unprofitable 
servant,  an  idle  shepherd,  that  thou  shouldest  call  me  to  this 
banquet  of  grace!  that  thou  shouldest  make  me  worthy  of  being 
an  instrument  in  so  joyful  a  miracle ! >J  So  saying,  he  extended 
his  hand  to  take  that  of  the  Unnamed. 

(<  No !  w  cried  the  penitent  nobleman ;  (<  no !  keep  away  from 
me:  defile  not  that  innocent  and  beneficent  hand.  You  don't 
know  all  that  the  one  you  would  grasp  has  committed. }) 

<(  Suffer  me,"  said  Federigo,,  taking  it  with  affectionate  vio- 
lence, ft  suffer  me  to  press  the  hand  which  will  repair  so  many 


ALESSANDRO  MANZONI 

wrongs,  dispense  so  many  benefits,  comfort  so  many  afflicted,  and 
be  extended — -disarmed,  peacefully,  and  humbly  —  to  so  many 
enemies. }> 

(<  It  is  too  much ! w  said  the  Unnamed  sobbing :  <(  leave  me,  my 
lord;  good  Federigo,  leave  me!  A  crowded  assembly  awaits  you; 
so  many  good  people,  so  many  innocent  creatures,  so  many  come 
from  a  distance,  to  see  you  for  once,  to  hear  you:  and  you  are 
staying  to  talk  —  with  whom ! }> 

<(  We  will  leave  the  ninety-and-nine  sheep, w  replied  the  Cardi- 
nal: (<they  are  in  safety  upon  the  mountain;  I  wish  to  remain 
with  that  which  was  lost.  Their  minds  are  perhaps  now  more 
satisfied  than  if  they  were  seeing  their  poor  bishop.  Perhaps 
God,  who  has  wrought  in  you  this  miracle  of  mercy,  is  diffusing 
in  their  hearts  a  joy  of  which  they  know  not  yet-  the  reason. 
These  people  are  perhaps  united  to  us  without  being  awrare  of 
it;  perchance  the  Spirit  may  be  instilling  into  their  hearts  an 
undefined  feeling  of  charity,  a  petition  which  he  will  grant 
for  you,  an  offering  of  gratitude  of  which  you  are  as  yet  the 
unknown  object. J>  So  saying,  he  threw  his  arms  around  the  neck 
of  the  Unnamed;  who,  after  attempting  to  disengage  himself,  and 
making  a  momentary  resistance,  yielded,  completely  overcome  by 
this  vehement  expression  of  affection,  embraced  the  Cardinal  in 
his  turn,  and  buried  in  his  shoulder  his  trembling  and  altered 
face.  His  burning  tears  dropped  upon  the  stainless  purple  of 
Federigo,  while  the  guiltless  hands  of  the  holy  bishop  affection- 
ately pressed  those  members,  and  touched  that  garment,  which 
had  been  accustomed  to  hold  the  weapons  of  violence  and  treach- 
ery/ 

Disengaging  himself  at  length  from  this  embrace,  the  Un- 
named again  covered  his  eyes  with  his  hands,  and  raising  his  face 
to  heaven,  exclaimed :  — (<  God  is  indeed  great !  God  is  indeed 
good!  I  know  myself  now,  now  I  understand  what  I  am;  my 
sins  are  present  before  me,  and  I  shudder  at  the  thought  of 
myself;  yet! — yet  I  feel  an  alleviation,  a  joy  —  yes,  even  a  joy, 
such  as  I  have  never  before  known  during  the  whole  of  my  hor- 
rible life ! » 

(<It  is  a  little  taste, »  said  Federigo,  "which  God  gives  you,  to 
incline  you  to  his  service,  and  encourage  you  resolutely  to  entei 
upon  the  new  course  of  life  which  lies  before  you,  and  in  which 
you  will  have  so  much  to  undo,  so  much  to  repair,  so  much  to 
mourn  over!" 


9692 


ALESSANDRO  MANZONI 


<(  Unhappy  man  that  I  am ! w  exclaimed  the  Signer :  <(  how 
many,  oh,  how  many  —  things  for  which  I  can  do  nothing  besides 
mourn!  But  at  least  I  have  undertakings  scarcely  set  on  foot 
which  I  can  break  off  in  the  midst,  if  nothing  more:  one  there 
is  which  I  can  quickly  arrest,  which  I  can  easily  undo  and  repair. w 

Federigo  listened  attentively  while  the  Unnamed  briefly 
related,  in  terms  of  perhaps  deeper  execration  than  we  have 
employed,  his  attempt  upon  Lucia,  the  sufferings  and  terrors 
Of  the  unhappy  girl,  her  importunate  entreaties,  the  frenzy  that 
these  entreaties  had  aroused  within  him,  and  how  she  was  still 
in  the  castle.  .  .  . 

(<Ah,  then  let  us  lose  no  time !  w  exclaimed  Federigo,  breath- 
less with  eagerness  and  compassion.  <(  You  are  indeed  blessed ! 
This  is  an  earnest  of  God's  forgiveness!  He  makes  you  capable 
of  becoming  the  instrument  of  safety  to  one  whom  you  intended 
to  ruin.  God  bless  you!  Nay,  he  has  blessed  you!  Do  you 
know  where  our  unhappy  protegee  comes  from  ? }) 

The  Signor  named  Lucia's  village. 

<(  It's  not  far  from  this,"  said  the  Cardinal,  <(  God  be  praised; 
and  probably — w  So  saying,  he  went  towards  a  little  table  and 
rang  a  bell.  The  cross-bearing  chaplain  immediately  attended  the 
summons  with  a  look  of  anxiety,  and  instantly  glanced  towards 
the  Unnamed.  At  the  sight  of  his  altered  countenance,  and  his 
eyes  still  red  with  weeping,  he  turned  an  inquiring  gaze  upon 
the  Cardinal;  and  perceiving,  amidst  the  invariable  composure 
of  his  countenance,  a  look  of  solemn  pleasure  and  unusual  solici- 
tude, he  would  have  stood  with  open  mouth  in  a  sort  of  ecstasy, 
had  not  the  Cardinal  quickly  aroused  him  from  his  contempla- 
tions by  asking  whether,  among  the  parish  priests  assembled  in 
the  next  room,  there  was  one  from  . 

<(  There  is,  your  illustrious  Grace,"  replied  the  chaplain. 

(<  Let  him  come  in  directly, yy  said  Federigo,  <(  and  with  him  the 
priest  of  this  parish. }> 

The  chaplain  quitted  the  room,  and  on  entering  the  hall  where 
the  clergy  were  assembled,  all  eyes  were  immediately  turned  upon 
him;  while,  with  a  look  of  blank  astonishment,  and  a  countenance 
in  which  was  still  depicted  the  rapture  he  had  felt,  he  lifted  up 
his  hands,  and  waving  them  in  the  air,  exclaimed,  "Signori! 
Signori!  Hcec  mutatio  dexter  cz  Excelsi^  [This  change  is  from 
the  right  hand  of  the  Almighty].  And  he  stood  for  a  moment 
without  uttering  another  word. 


ALESSANDRO   MANZONI 

AN   EPISODE   OF   THE   PLAGUE   IN    MILAN 
From  <The  Betrothed  > 

[The  hero  of  the  novel,  young  Renzo  Tramaglino,  enters  Milan  on  foot, 
seeking  his  lost  betrothed,  Lucia  Mondella.  Among  the  scenes  of  suffering 
and  horror  which  continually  meet  his  eyes  is  the  following.] 

RENZO  had  already  gone  some  distance  on  his  way  through  the 
midst  of  this  desolation,  when  he  heard,  proceeding  from 
a  street  a  few  yards  off,  into  which  he  had  been  directed 
to  turn,  a  confused  noise,  in  which  he  readily  distinguished  the 
usual  horrible  tinkling. 

At  the  entrance  of  the  street,  which  was  one  of  the  most 
spacious,  he  perceived  four  carts  standing  in  the  middle:  and  as 
in  a  corn  market  there  is  a  constant  hurrying  to  and  fro  of  people, 
and  an  emptying  and  filling  of  sacks,  such  was  the  bustle  here, 
—  monatti  intruding  into  houses,  monatti  coming  out,  bearing 
a  burden  upon  their  shoulders,  which  they  placed  upon  one  or 
other  of  the  carts;  some  in  red  livery,  others  without  that  distinc- 
tion; many  with  another  still  more  odious, — plumes  and  cloaks  of 
various  colors,  which  these  miserable  wretches  wore  in  the  midst 
of  the  general  mourning,  as  if  in  honor  of  a  festival.  From  time 
to  time  the  mournful  cry  resounded  from  one  of  the  windows, 
(<  Here,  monatti!*  And  with  a- still  more  wretched  sound,  a  harsh 
voice  rose  from  this  horrible  source  in  reply,  (<  Coming  directly ! y> 
Or  else  there  were  lamentations  nearer  at  hand,  or  entreaties  to 
make  haste;  to  which  the  monatti  responded  with  oaths. 

Having  entered  the  street,  Renzo  quickened  his  steps,  trying 
not  to  look  at  these  obstacles  further  than  was  necessary  to 
avoid  them:  his  attention,  however,  was  arrested  by  a  remarkable 
object  of  pity, —  such  pity  as  inclines  to  the  contemplation  of  its 
object;  so  that  he  came  to  a  pause  almost  without  determining 
to  do  so. 

Coming  down  the  steps  of  one  of  the  doorways,  and  advan- 
cing towards  the  convoy,  he  beheld  a  woman,  whose  appearance 
announced  still  remaining  though  somewhat  advanced  youthful- 
ness;  a  veiled  and  dimmed  but  not  destroyed  beauty  was  still 
apparent,  in  spite  of  much  suffering  and  a  fatal  languo'r, —  that 
delicate  and  at  the  same  time  majestic  beauty  which  is  con- 
spicuous in  the  Lombard  blood.  Her  gait  was  weary,  but  not 
tottering;  no  tears  fell  from  her  eyes,  though  they  bore  tokens  of 
having  shed  many;  there  was  something  peaceful  and  profound 


9*94 


ALESSANDRO  MANZONI 


in  her  sorrow,  which  indicated  a  mind  fully  conscious  and  sensi- 
tive enough  to  feel  it.  But  it  was  not  merely  her  own  appear- 
ance which  in  the  midst  of  so  much  misery  marked  her  out 
so  especially  as  an  object  of  commiseration,  and  revived  in  her 
behalf  a  feeling1  now  exhausted — extinguished  —  in  men's  hearts. 
She  carried  in  her  arms  ?.  little  child,  about  nine  years  old,  now. 
a  lifeless  body;  but  laid  out  and  arranged,  with  her  hair  parted 
on  her  forehead,  and  in  a  white  and  remarkably  clean  dress, 
as  if  those  hands  had  decked  her  out  for  a  long-promised  feast, 
granted  as  a  reward.  Nor  was  she  lying  there,  but  upheld  and 
adjusted  on  one  arm,  with  her  breast  reclining  against  her 
mother's,  like  a  living  creature;  save  that  a  delicate  little  hand, 
as  white  as  wax,  hung  from  one  side  with  a  kind  of  inanimate 
weight,  and  the  head  rested  upon  her  mother's  shoulder  with  an 
abandonment  deeper  than  that  of  sleep;  —  her  mother;  for  even 
if  their  likeness  to  each  other  had  not  given  assurance  of  the 
fact,  the  countenance  which  could  still  display  any  emotion  would 
have  clearly  revealed  it. 

A  horrible -looking  monatto  approached  the  woman,  and  at- 
tempted to  take  the  burden  from  her  arms;  with  a  kind  of  unusual 
respect,  however,  and  with  involuntary  hesitation.  But  she,  slightly 
drawing  back,  yet  with  the  air  of  one  who  shows  neither  scorn 
nor  displeasure,  said,  (<No!  don't  take  her  from  me  yet:  I  must 
place  her  myself  on  this  cart  —  here.*  So  saying,  she  opened  her 
hand,  displayed  a  purse  which  she  held  in  it,  and  dropped  it  into 
that  which  the  monatto  extended  towards  her.  She  then  con- 
tinued :  <(  Promise  me  not  to  take  a  thread  from  around  her,  nor 
to  let  any  one  else  do  so,  and  to  lay  her  in  the  ground  thus." 

The  monatto  laid  his  right  hand  on  his  heart;  and  then,  zeal- 
ously and  almost  obsequiously, —  rather  from  the  new  feeling 
by  which  he  was,  as  it  were,  subdued,  than  on  account  of  the 
unlooked-for  reward, — hastened  to  make  a  little  room  on  the  car 
for  the  infant  dead.  The  lady,  giving  it  a  kiss  on  the  forehead, 
laid  it  on  the  spot  prepared  for  it,  as  upon  a  bed,  arranged  it 
there,  covering  it  with  a  pure  white  linen  cloth,  and  pronounced 
these  parting  words:  — <(  Farewell,  Cecilia!  rest  in  peace!  This 
evening'  we  too  will  join  you,  to  rest  together  forever.  In  the 
mean  while  pray  for  us;  for  I  will  pray  for  you  and  the  others. " 
Then,  turning  again  to  the  monatto,  "You,"  said  she,  <(when  you 
pass  this  way  in  the  evening,  may  come  to  fetch  me  too;  and 
not  me  only." 


ALESSANDRO  MANZONI 

So  saying,  she  re-entered  the  house,  and  after  an  instant 
appeared  at  the  window,  holding  in  her  arms  another  more  dearly 
loved  one,  still  living,  but  with  the  marks  of  death  on  its  counte- 
nance. She  remained  to  contemplate  these  so  unworthy  obsequies 
of  the  first  child,  from  the  time  the  car  started  until  it  was  out 
of  sight,  and  then  disappeared.  And  what  remained  for  her  to 
do  but  to  lay  upon  the  bed  the  only  one  that  was  left  her,  and 
to  stretch  herself  beside  it,  that  they  might  die  together  ?  as  the 
flower  already  full  blown  upon  the  stem  falls  together  with  the 
bud  still  infolded  in  its  calyx,  under  the  scythe  which  levels  alike 
all  the  herbage  of  the  field. 

(<  O  Lord ! }>  exclaimed  Renzo,  <(  hear  her !  take  her  to  thyself, 
her  and  that  little  infant  one:  they  have  suffered  enough!  surely, 
they  have  suffered  enough ! }> 


CHORUS 
IN  THE  < COUNT  OF  CARMAGNOLA* 

From  <  Modern  Italian  Poets, >  by  W.  D.  Howells.     Copyright  1887,  by 
Harper  &  Brothers 

ON  THE  right  hand  a  trumpet  is  sounding, 
On  the  left  hand  a  trumpet  replying, 
The  field  upon  all  sides  resounding 
With  the  tramping  of  foot  and  of  horse. 
Yonder  flashes  a  flag;  yonder,  flying 
Through  the  still  air,  a  bannerol  glances; 
Here  a  squadron  embattled  advances, 

There  another  that  threatens  its  course. 

The  space  'twixt  the  foes  now  beneath  them 
Is  hid,  and  on  swords  the  sword  ringeth; 
In  the  hearts  of  each  other  they  sheathe  them; 

Blood  runs, —  they  redouble  their  blows. 
Who  are  these?    To  our  fair  fields  what  bringeth, 
To  make  war  upon  us,  this  stranger  ? 
Which  is  he  that  hath  sworn  to  avenge  her, 
The  land  of  his  birth,  on  her  foes  ? 

They  are  all  of  one  land  and  one  nation. 

One  speech;  and  the  foreigner  names  them 
All  brothers,  of  one  generation; 

In  each  visage  their  kindred  is  seen: 


ALESSANDRO  MANZONI 

This  land  is  the  mother  that  claims  them, 

This  land  that  their  life-blood  is  steeping, 
That  God,  from  all  other  lands  keeping, 

Set  the  seas  and  the  mountains  between. 

Ah,  which  drew  the  first  blade  among  them, 

To  strike  at  the  heart  of  his  brother  ? 
What  wrong  or  what  insult  hath  stung  them 

To  wipe  out  what  stain,  or  to  die  ? 
They  know  not:  to  slay  one  another 
They  come  in  a  course  none  hath  told  them; 
A  chief  that  was  purchased  hath  sold  them; 
They  combat  for  him,  nor  ask  why. 

Ah,  woe  for  the  mothers  that  bare  them, 

For  the  wives  of  the  warriors  maddened! 
Why  come  not  their  loved  ones  to  tear  them 

Away  from  the  infamous  field  ? 
Their  sires,  whom  long  years  have  saddened. 
And  thoughts  of  the  sepulchre  chastened, 
In  warning  why  have  they  not  hastened 
To  bid  them  to  hold  and  to  yield  ? 

As  under  the  vine  that  embowers 

His  own  happy  threshold,  the  smiling 
Clown  watches  the  tempest  that  lowers 

On  the  furrows  his  plow  has  not  turned,, 
So  each  waits  in  safety,  beguiling 
The  time  with  his  count  of  those  falling 
Afar  in  the  fight,  and  the  appalling 

Flames  of  towns  and  of  villages  burned. 

There,  intent  on  the  lips  of  their  mothers, 

Thou  shalt  hear  little  children  with  scorning, 
Learn  to  follow  and  flout  at  the  brothers 

Whose  blood  they  shall  go  forth  to  shed: 
Thou  shalt  see  wives  and  maidens  adorning 
Their  bosoms  and  hair  with  the  splendor 
Of  gems  but  now  torn  from  the  tender 

Hapless  daughters  and  wives  of  the  dead. 

Oh,  disaster,  disaster,  disaster! 

With  the  slain  the  earth's  hidden  already: 
With  blood  reeks  the  whole  plain,  and  vaster 
And  fiercer  the  strife  than  before! 


ALESSANDRO  MANZONI  9697 

But  along  the  ranks,  rent  and  unsteady, 
Many  waver, —  they  yield, — they  are  flying! 
With  the  last  hope  of  victory  dying, 
The  love  of  life  rises  again. 

As  out  of  the  fan,  when  it  tosses 

The  grain  in  its  breath,  the  grain  flashes, 
So  over  the  field  of  their  losses 

Fly  the  vanquished.     But  now  in  their  course 
Starts  a  squadron  that  suddenly  dashes 
Athwart  their  wild  flight  and  that  stays  them, 
While  hard  on  the  hindmost  dismays  them 
The  pursuit  of  the  enemy's  horse. 

At  the  feet  of  the  foe  they  fall  trembling, 

And  yield  life  and  sword  to  his  keeping; 
In  the  shouts  of  the  victors  assembling, 

The  moans  of  the  dying  are  drowned. 
To  the  saddle  a  courier  leaping, 
Takes  a  missive,  and  through  all  resistance, 
Spurs,  lashes,  devours  the  distance; 

Every  hamlet  awake  at  the  sound. 

Ah,  why  from  their  rest  and  their  labor 

To  the  hoof-beaten  road  do  they  gather? 
Why  turns  every  one  to.  his  neighbor 

The  jubilant  tidings  to  hear  ? 

Thou  know'st  whence  he  comes,  wretched  father i 
And  thou  long'st  for  his  news,  hapless  mother! 
In  fight  brother  fell  upon  brother! 

These  terrible  tidings  /  bring. 

All  around  I  hear  cries  of  rejoicing; 

The  temples  are  decked;  the  song  swelleth 
From  the  hearts  of  the  fratricides,  voicing 

Praise  and  thanks  that  are  hateful  to  God. 
Meantime  from  the  Alps  where  he  dwelleth 
The  stranger  turns  hither  his  vision, 
And  numbers  with  cruel  derision 

The  brave  that  have  bitten  the  sod. 

Leave  your  games,  leave  your  songs  and  exulting; 

Fill  again  your  battalions,  and  rally 
Again  to  your  banner!    Insulting 

The  stranger  descends,  he  is  come! 


9698  ALESSANDRO  MANZONI 

Are  ye  feeble  and  few  in  your  sally, 
Ye  victors?    For  this  he  descendeth! 
Tis  for  this  that  his  challenge  he  sendeth 

From  the  fields  where  your  brothers  lie  dumb! 

Thou  that  strait  to  thy  children  appearedst, 

Thou  that  knew'st  not  in  peace  how  to  tend  them, 
Fatal  land!   now  the  stranger  thou  fearedst 

Receive,  with  the  judgment  he  brings! 
A  foe  unprovoked  to  offend  them 
At  thy  board  sitteth  down  and  derideth, 
The  spoil  of  thy  foolish  divideth, 

Strips  the  sword  from  the  hand  of  thy  kings. 

Foolish  he,  too!    What  people  was  ever 

For  the  bloodshedding  blest,  or  oppression  ? 
To  the  vanquished  alone  comes  harm  never; 

To  tears  turns  the  wrong-doer's  joy! 
Though  he  'scape  through  the  years'  long  progression 
Yet  the  vengeance  eternal  o'ertaketh 
Him  surely;  it  waiteth  and  waketh; 
It  seizes  him  at  the  last  sigh! 

We  are  all  made  in  one  likeness  holy, 

Ransomed  all  by  one  only  redemption 
Near  or  far,  rich  or  poor,  high  or  lowly, 
Wherever  we  breathe  in  life's  air; 
We  are  brothers  by  one  great  pre-emption 
.  Bound  all;  and  accursed  be  its  wronger, 
Who  would  ruin  by  right  of  the  stronger, 

Wring  the  hearts  of  the  weak  with  despair. 

Translation  of  William  D.  Howells 


THE   FIFTH   OF  MAY 

From  < Modern  Italian  Poets, >  by  W.  D.  Howells.     Copyright  1887,  by 
Harper  &  Brothers 

HE  PASSED:  and  as  immovable 
As,  with  the  last  sigh  given, 
Lay  his  own  clay,  oblivious, 

From  that  great  spirit  riven, 
So  the  world  stricken  and  wondering 
Stands  at  the  tidings  dread; 


ALESSANDRO  MANZONI  9699 

Mutely  pondering  the  ultimate 

Hour  of  that  fateful  being, 
And  in  the  vast  futurity 

No  peer  of  his  foreseeing 
Among  the  countless  myriads 

Her  blood-stained  dust  that  tread. 

Him  on  his  throne  and  glorious 

Silent  saw  I,  that  never  — 
When  with  awful  vicissitude 

He  sank,  rose,  fell  forever  — 
Mixed  my  voice  with  the  numberless 

Voices  that  pealed  on  high; 
Guiltless  of  servile  flattery 

And  of  the  scorn  of  coward. 
Come  I  when  darkness  suddenly 

On  so  great  light  hath  lowered, 
And  offer  a  song  at  his  sepulchre 
That  haply  shall  not  die. 

From  the  Alps  unto  the  Pyramids, 

From  Rhine  to  Manzanares, 
Unfailingly  the  thunderstroke 

His  lightning  purpose  carries; 
Bursts  from  Scylla  to  Tanais, — 

From  one  to  the  other  sea. 
Was  it  true  glory? — Posterity, 

Thine  be  the  hard  decision; 
Bow  we  before  the  mightiest, 

Who  willed  in  him  the  vision 
Of  his  creative  majesty 

Most  grandly  traced  should  be. 

The  eager  and  tempestuous 

Joy  of  the  great  plan's  hour, 
The  throe  of  the  heart  that  controllessly 

Burns  with  a  dream  of  power, 
And  wins  it,  and  seizes  victory 

It  had  seemed  folly  to  hope, 
All  he  hath  known:  the  infinite 

Rapture  after  the  danger, 
The  flight,  the  throne  of  sovereignty, 

The  salt  bread  of  the  stranger; 
Twice  'neath  the  feet  of  the  worshipers, 
Twice  'neath  the  altar's  cope. 


9700 


ALESSANDRO  MAJSTZONI 

He  spoke  his  name;  two  centuries* 

Armed  and  threatening  either, 
Turned  unto  him  submissively, 

As  waiting  fate  together; 
He  made  a  silence,  and  arbiter 
He  sat  between  the  two. 
He  vanished;  his  days  in  the  idleness 

Of  his  island  prison  spending, 
Mark  of  immense  malignity, 

And  of  a  pity  unending, 
Of  hatred  inappeasable, 

Of  deathless  love  and  true. 

As  on  the  head  of  the  mariner, 

Its  weight  some  billow  heaping, 
Falls,  even  while  the  castaway, 

With  strained  sight  far  sweeping, 
Scanneth  the  empty  distances 

For  some  dim  sail  in  vain: 
So  over  his  soul  the  memories 

Billowed  and  gathered  ever; 
How  oft  to  tell  posterity 

Himself  he  did  endeavor, 
And  on  the  pages  helplessly 

Fell  his  weary  hand  again. 

How  many  times,  when  listlessly 

In  the  long  dull  day's  declining  — 
Downcast  those  glances  fulminant, 

His  arms  on  his  breast  entwining  — 
He  stood  assailed  by  the  memories 

Of  days  that  were  passed  away; 
He  thought  of  the  camps,  the  arduous 

Assaults,  the  shock  of  forces, 
The  lightning-flash  of  the  infantry, 

The  billowy  rush  of  horses, 
The  thrill  in  his  supremacy, 
The  eagerness  to  obey. 

Ah,  haply  in  so  great  agony 
His  panting  soul  had  ended 

Despairing,  but  that  potently 

A  han